"O, THAT THE WISE FROM THEIR BRIGHT MINDS WOULD KINDLE SUCH LAMPS WITHIN THE DOME OF THIS DIM WORLD": SHELLEY'S PROMETHEUS UNBOUND, HANDSOMELY BOUND BY RIVIERE & SON
SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe. Prometheus Unbound, A Lyrical Drama in Four Acts, With Other Poems. London: C. and J. Ollier, 1820. Octavo, late 19th-century full crushed brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, top edge gilt. $4200.
First edition, second issue, handsomely bound in full crushed morocco-gilt by Riviere & Son. An unusually tall, wide-margined copy.
Shelley began Prometheus Unbound in 1818 shortly before the death of his daughter, Clara. He traveled for some time afterward, stricken by grief, going from Byron's villa in Este, to Rome, to Naples, and back to Rome. He finally resumed work in Rome, completing the drama right before the tragic death of his infant son in April of 1819. "The Prometheus is a dithyrambic of sublime exultation on the redemption of humanity, and an assemblage of all that language has of gorgeousness and verse of mythology" (DNB). Includes Shelley's monumental Prometheus Unbound and other important poems, such as "Ode to the West Wind," "To a Skylark," "Ode to Heaven," and "Ode to Liberty." Second issue, with table of contents leaf a cancel with "Miscellaneous" spelled correctly. Without final leaf of advertisements and half title. Wise, 55. Forman, 94-96.
Only light rubbing to joints. A very nearly fine wide-margined copy, handsomely bound.