Publius Vergilius Maro [Virgil], Eng. Trans. by John Dryden, edited and with notes by William Henry Melmoth, The Whole Genuine Works of Virgil, The Famous Roman Poet, Including New and Complete Editions of The Aeneid, Georgics, Pastorals, Bucolics, or Eclogues; Those Very Celebrated and Universally Admired Original Productions... All carefully Translated from the Original Latin, all former editions carefully consulted... particularly that hitherto most esteemed Translation by Mr. Dryden. Illustrated with Large and Valuable Explanatory Notes... Embellished with A Most Superb Set of Grand Quarto Copper-Plates, Designed and Engraved by the most Capital Artists, being alone worth more than the Purchase-Money of the whole Work. (London: Printed for Alexander Hogg, [1785]). Complete in Large 4to volume (10 1/2" x 8 7/8"). Preface & Works of Virgil, 363 pp.; Memoirs on the Life of Virgil, Remarks on the Works of Virgil, Nature and Conduct of the Aeneid, Reflections on Didactic Poetry, Pastoral Poetry, 364 - 495 pp., + Index, Directions to Binder, List of Subscribers. Bound in early, probably original full mottled calf, rebacked in calf. Sewn on five raised cords ruled in gilt, spine compartments ornamented gilt, contrasting spine title gilt, boards ruled in gilt. Illustrated with 30 full page copper engraved plates by artists including

"The works of the great Roman epic poet [Virgil] are characterized by such elegance and dignity, and metrically they are so impeccable, that they have been continuously used... so great has been the veneration accorded them that they, like the Bible, have been at times consulted as an oracle." DICKINSON, BEST BOOKS. "A hundred separate editions were printed before the end of the fifteenth century... As the revival of learning brought greater knowledge of the influence of Rome, Virgil came to be recognized as the greatest of the Latin poets, and his majestic lines and noble sentiments have become a part of the European heritage." PRINTING AND THE MIND OF MAN, #6

Complete in three large paper volumes, this early London issue of Virgils Works includes the full Aeneid, the Georgics, and the critically praised Life of Virgil by Dryden.

Plates in all sections are large copper engravings with elaborate frames. Artists include Taylor, Grainger, Barclay, Noble, Page, and Reynolds. Alexander Hogg published Melmoth edited editions of Homer and Fenelon within weeks of the issue of the issue of this Virgil. Although this Virgil edition is undated at the title page, it can be dated with considerable accuracy through evidence of ads in the back of the volume. The ad for Fenelon's Telemachus on page 499 of this present copy of Virgil announces that the first part of Telemachus will appear, "...on Saturday next," and further states that the Telemachus work is, "... to be published in 24 parts." Plates found within the Telemachus are dated between Nov. 20, 1784 and April 30, 1785.

Hand tooled full calf leather binding is bright and with uniform edge and corner wear. Later spine leather expertly tooled in Regency period binding style. Headcap and tailcap and hinges are unbroken. Hand sewn headband and tailband present. Early owner's signature dated July 20, 1805 at front pastedown endpaper, beneath which is a "memorandum" (list) of books beginning with Virgil. Eleven other books are on the list, including Ovid, Lucien, Aesop, "Sentimental Journey" (Sterne), and others (see endpaper photo). Early owner signature at rear free endpaper, "Joseph Graham, his book." Signatures and pages are tight, pages with little wear (some edge and corner wear first few preliminary pages) and little soiling but with some widely scatterd foxing. No owner's annotations, no underlining. No public library or ex-library markings.

The lavishly illustrated Hogg 1785 Virgil, one of the most complete and extensively annotated single volume ...
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