LIMITED PRIVATE PRESS EDITION OF SHELLEY’S PROMETHEUS UNBOUND, ONE OF ONLY 220 COPIES HANDSOMELY PRINTED BY ESSEX HOUSE, IN SCARCE PUBLISHER’S VELLUM
SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe. Prometheus Unbound. A Lyrical Drama. (London: Edward Arnold, 1904). Small folio (8-1/2 by 11-1/2 inches), original full cream vellum, partial ribbon ties, uncut, housed in a custom slipcase. $950.
Limited Essex House Press edition, number 51 of only 200 copies beautifully printed in black and red on paper out of a total edition of only 220 copies printed, in scarce publisher’s vellum.
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). With elaborate full-page woodcut illustration in red and black and single woodcut in-text illustration. Text printed in red and black. The first edition was published in 1820. Owner initials.
Slight foxing to endpapers, a bit of usual soiling to vellum, without one pair of ties. An extremely good copy. Scarce.