London: Printed for T. Cadell et al, 1830. First Edition. Leather bound. First illustrated edition, in a custom Riviere binding, octavo size, 292 pp. Near fine. Item #PTBR003
Samuel Rogers (1763-1855) was a well-known poet is his day, although, sadly not much read today. His poetry, although dated, was highly regarded by contemporaries, with Byron saying of Roger's "The Pleasures of Memory": " 'His elegance is really wonderful - there is no such thing as a vulgar line in the book'."
This work came about "after a visit to Italy in 1815 (a journal of which was published in 1956), which suggested to him the idea of a poem descriptive of that country. It appeared anonymously in 1822; the secret was kept even from the publisher, and the author took care to be out of the country. No such mystery, however, attended the publication of the second part in 1828. The book was not well received. Rogers destroyed the unsold copies, revised it carefully, engaged Turner and Stothard to illustrate it, and republished it in a handsome edition in 1830. The success of this edition, which strongly influenced John Ruskin, as well as of a similarly illustrated issue of his other poems in 1834, was unequivocal, and he soon recovered the £7000 he had expended on them" (n.b., from the online Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).
It was a stroke of genius to have the work illustrated, and the many in-text steel engravings bring the poem, and the land, to wondrous life - for anyone who has lived in or visited Italy, the poems and engravings provide a precious glimpse into its past which may, or may not, be partly romanticized.
___DESCRIPTION: In a full green leather custom binding by Riviere & Son (stamped on the front turn-in), the spine richly decorated in gilt with the title ("Rogers' Italy") and publication date in gilt, both boards with three narrow ruled gilt borders with gilt corner decorations, board edges ruled in gilt, top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges rough-cut, turn-ins ruled in gilt and with gilt corner decorations, replete with small in-text steel engravings after Turner and Stothard, "Notes" section at the back of approx. 45 pages, vintage bookseller ticket on the rear pastedown from "DP Elder and Morgan Shepard, San Francisco" - this would have been David Paul Elder, or Paul Elder, Sr., therefore the book was with them sometime between 1898 and 1903; octavo size (8 1/8" by 5 7/8"), pagination: [i-v] vi-viii,  2-284 [1 p. publisher's ad for Rogers volume "Poems"].
___CONDITION: Near fine, and could likely be deemed fine; the leather binding smooth and supple, clean, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; the green spine has mellowed to brown (as is almost always the case with green leather), a single minute speck of wear to the front board, and a light area of wear to the front pastedown (presumably from the removal of a prior owner plate), else fine. Note that we had a professional (name available upon request) reinforce the front joint, the binding is now strong and sturdy.
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