EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED ALDINE EDITION OF SWIFT'S POEMS, EXQUISITELY BOUND
SWIFT, Jonathan. The Poetical Works. New York and London: (Chiswick Press), circa 1893. Three volumes. 12mo, contemporary full crimson morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines and covers with floral designs incorporating blue, green and white morocco inlays, green morocco-gilt doublures with red morocco inlays in a floral design, raised bands, watered silk endpapers, all edges gilt. $2800.
Later Aldine edition of the poems of Swift, with portrait of the poet and extra-illustrated with 15 window-mounted engravings, six hand-colored, splendidly bound in full morocco-gilt with multi-colored morocco inlays in floral designs.
Though most famous for his masterful satire Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Swift was also a prolific poet, and wielded his wit in verse as well as prose. An Irish patriot who held himself "a thorough Englishman" (DNB); a religious skeptic who preached as the Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin; an advocate of social reform who nevertheless despaired of human beings' capacity for virtue; a masterful writer whose words can command both "effervescent playfulness" and "mordant indignation" (Baugh et al., 867)—Jonathan Swift confronts readers with contradiction after compelling contradiction. "In Swift, the author and the man are identical. No writings ever reflected more perfectly a powerful idiosyncrasy" (DNB). Includes a Life of Swift. The "Aldine" edition of British poets, first brought out by the publisher William Pickering beginning in 1830, aimed to introduce scholarly editions of the classics in a smaller, more affordable format.
A splendidly bound, extra-illustrated set in fine condition.