(London: John Murray, 1830). 273 x 216 mm. (10 3/4 x 8 1/2"). Two volumes. FIRST EDITION.
Pleasing contemporary deep blue half roan over marbled boards, spines attractively gilt in compartments with fleuron centerpieces and entwined vines filling corners, gilt titling, marbled endpapers and edges. Engraved frontispiece portrait in volume I. Front pastedown with armorial bookplate of Robert Dillon, 3rd Baron Clonbrook (1807-93). A hint of rubbing to leather, paper boards very faintly chafed, one small marginal wax spot, but AN EXCEPTIONALLY FINE COPY, clean, smooth, and bright internally, and in a virtually unworn decorative period binding.
This is the first edition of Moore's sympathetic biography of Byron, along with a collection of the Romantic rebel's evocative letters and journals, offered here in extremely fine contemporary condition. The lives of Byron and the Irishman Moore (1779-1852) were closely linked. The two were intimate friends, and Moore served as Byron's literary executor. Moore achieved in his day a popularity among the London literati second only to Byron, and the latter contributed to Moore's success in both direct and indirect ways. For example, the extraordinary popularity of the Oriental romance "Lalla Rookh," Moore's most famous work, was due in large measure to a raging vogue that had been established by Byron's exotic narratives. After Byron's untimely death, Moore edited--with due care--such excerpts of his friend's letters and journals as would not unduly shock or embarrass the living. Day admires "the vigor and movement in Byron's letters, a compelling rhythmic prose that sweeps and punches. The man becomes blazingly alive in these incisive and driving letters. . . . The robust honesty and vitality . . . make him more attractive and human than does any of his flamboyant verse." Moore's "Notices" of the poet's life was written after it was decided that the memoir Byron had entrusted to Moore for publication after his death was too scandalous to see print (and Moore, with permission, burned it). DNB admires "the skill with which Moore constructed his portrait" and proclaims his biography "indispensable for students of Byron." While copies of this work can be located, it is rare to find a set like this one, in such desirable original condition. (ST12469)
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PJP Catalog: SE19BF.038