Tennyson's First Published Volume, in a Beautiful Binding


(London: Printed by J. and J. Jackson, Louth, for Simpkin and Marshall, 1827). 163 x 102 mm. (6 1/2 x 4"). xii, 228 pp. FIRST EDITION.

LOVELY LATE 19TH CENTURY CRIMSON MOROCCO, ELEGANTLY GILT, covers with plain and decorative gilt rules and fleuron cornerpieces, raised bands, spine gilt in double-ruled compartments with urn of flowers at center surrounded by small tools, leaf garlands at corners, gilt titling, richly gilt turn-ins, top edge gilt. Front pastedown with the bookplate of S. A. Thompson Yates. Thomson 1; Ashley Library VII, 102; Hayward 244; Wise 1. Faint discoloration in bottom margin of about 25 leaves, isolated insignificant soiling, otherwise A VERY PRETTY BOOK IN FINE CONDITION, the text fresh and bright, and the especially beautiful binding lustrous and unworn.

This is Alfred Tennyson's first published volume, issued in collaboration with brothers Charles and Frederick when the future Poet Laureate was 18. Although he modestly removed himself from the title, Frederick wrote four of the poems, while Alfred and Charles penned the others. Thomson states that the unproven young authors were paid £20 for their manuscript by the publisher Jackson, a robust sum under the circumstances and one that probably reflected the publisher's hope of obtaining future business from the lads' rich and influential grandfather, who was the vicar of Louth. We leave comment on our copy's fine binding to the august Tennyson (quoting "The Stars of Yon Blue Placid Sky," included in the present volume): "the eye with wonder gazes there, and could but gaze on sight so fair." Despite being as elegant as it could be, the binding is inexplicably unsigned. Our prior owner, Rev. Samuel Ashton Thompson-Yates of Liverpool, was the grandson of wealthy merchant Joseph Yates (1780-1855), a founding member of the Liverpool Literary and Philosophical Society. The reverend left his very fine collection of rare books to Samuel and his other grandson, Henry Yates Thompson (1836-1928). The collection then passed to Allan Heywood Bright (1862-1941), and had remained largely undisturbed and unvalued in his family home for more than 70 years until its 16 July 2014 sale at Christie's, when 365 lots estimated at more than £3 million sold for £4,977,725.

Add to Cart Price: $2,500.00

PJP Catalog: NY21BF.057


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