Lot 10

BYRON, Lord (1788-1824). Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, London, 1812, Cantos I-II in one vol., 4to, facsimile letter, FINELY BOUND in contemporary red morocco, FIRST EDITION. With Cantos III & IV (1816-18, 2 vols., FIRST EDITIONS) in wrappers and boards. (3)

Estimate: £500 - £800
Hammer price: £1,500
Bidding ended. Lot has been sold.

BYRON, George Gordon Noel, Lord (1788-1824).  Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. A Romaunt [and] Poems. London: "Printed for John Murray ... William Blackwood, Edinburgh; and John Cumming, Dublin," [March] 1812. Cantos I - II and Poems bound in one volume, 4to (270 x 208mm). 4-lines of errata on verso of "Contents" leaf, engraved facsimile of a Romaic letter at the end ([?]lacks half title and advertisements, first few leaves and a few others very lightly browned, occasional mainly marginal light spotting and staining, a few darker spots, linear stain to  L1, more staining to facsimile letter). FINELY BOUND in contemporary red panelled morocco elaborately decorated in gilt and blind, gilt edges (extremities rubbed, some scuffing). Provenance: George Chetwynd (armorial bookplate); "Sotheby's April 22 1837" (old pencil inscription on front free endpaper); Grendon Hall, 1850 (small blindstamp to title). FIRST EDITION, with "vengeance forego" on p.97, line 11. "Murray had printed the usual 500 copies [of the first edition], at the time considered adequate for any book of verse. The edition was sold within three days ... [I]t was the very 'romanticism' of Childe Harold that established Byron and Byronism as a temporarily national and centennially international force in the western mind. What the whole of the nineteenth century admired most was the fascinating blend of aristocratic arrogance and revolutionary enthusiasm, sexual licentiousness and purity of love, glowing passion and deep melancholy, bitter irony and lachrymose sentimentality, exquisite dandyism and high personal courage. All these traits, and many more beside them, the public found in the mixture of realistic confession and stylized saga with which Byron expressed as well as veiled himself in the guise of Childe Harold ... The Byronic combination of oriental enchantment and nature worship, pessimism and pantheism, stamped itself upon European civilization" (PMM). "The Poem enjoyed tremendous success. After the publication of Cantos I and II in March 1812 Byron wrote, 'I woke one morning and found myself famous'" (The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. M. Drabble, 1985). Grolier English 68; PMM 270; Randolph pp.19-20; Wise Byron I, p.50. With the same author's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Canto the Third (London, John Murray, 1816, large 8vo, 4-pages of publisher's advertisements dated December 1816 at the end, original or contemporary wrappers, FIRST EDITION, the issue with the exclamation mark at the end of the first line on p.4) and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Canto the Fourth (London, John Murray, 1818, large 8vo, contemporary paper boards, spine very defective but retaining part of the lettering-piece, FIRST EDITION, second issue). (3)

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