Three Very Pretty Volumes Filled with Turner Illustrations, Including his Last Important Ones

ITALY, A POEM. [and] POEMS. [and, as a companion volume,] CAMPBELL, THOMAS. THE POETICAL WORKS.

(London: Printed for T. Cadell, 1830, 1834; Edward Moxon, 1837). 200 x 130 mm. (7 3/4 x 5 1/8"). Three separately published works (but the first two often found together). First Illustrated Editions.

VERY PRETTY EMERALD GREEN CRUSHED MOROCCO BY RIVIERE & SON (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with gilt rule frame featuring inlaid red morocco tulips at corners, raised bands, spine panels with two inlaid red morocco tulips and gilt leaves on a stippled ground, gilt titling, turn-ins with inlaid tulips and gilt leaves at corners, maroon endpapers, all edges gilt. First two works with a combined total of four plates, 20 illustrations in the text, and more than 100 fine steel-engraved headpieces and tailpieces, after designs mostly by J. M. W. Turner and Thomas Stothard. Third work with 20 engraved vignettes in the text after J. M. W. Turner. Front pastedowns with evidence of bookplate removal. Ray 13, 15, 17. Spines a few shades darker than the boards (but a rich, uniform, pleasing green), one board with a little mild soiling, a touch of rubbing to extremities, occasional mild offsetting or other trivial imperfections in the text, but A FINE SET, clean and fresh internally with ample margins, in lustrous bindings showing almost no signs of use.

In lovely decorative morocco and containing illustrations of considerable interest, this is an extremely appealing set of poetic works that added greatly to the contemporaneous popularity of the authors and artists involved. The scion of a wealthy banking family, Samuel Rogers (1763-1855) first achieved fame with the publication in 1792 of "The Pleasures of Memory." After Italian travels, during which he met Shelley and Byron in Pisa, Rogers produced a first version of "Italy" in 1822 and issued a sequel in 1826, both of which sold poorly. He destroyed the unsold copies, revised the poems, and published them at his own expense in the present edition of 1830 (our first volume), embellished this time by illustrations. These were the work of two artists with very different propensities--Stothard (1755-1834), who did demure figure scenes, and Turner (1775-1851), who provided landscape vignettes. Early Romantic poet Thomas Campbell (1777-1844) was the author of the exceedingly popular "The Pleasures of Hope," a denunciation of political oppression and slavery, and "Gertrude of Wyoming," the story of an Indian massacre in the Wyoming river valley of Pennsylvania. Our third volume includes both of these, along with many other verses. According to Ray, the engravings here depicting scenes from the poems are Turner's last important illustrations. Ray notes that these "are in no way inferior to those for Rogers' two volumes," singling out the "ghostly 'Death-Boat of Heligo-land'" for special praise. Riviere is considered one of the foremost names in English binding partly because the firm did consistently fine work and partly because it was so long in business. Robert Riviere began as a bookseller and binder in Bath in 1829, then set up shop as a binder in London in 1840; in 1881, he took his grandson Percival Calkin into partnership, at which time the firm became known as Riviere & Son, and the bindery continued to do business until 1939. While the two Rogers volumes here are often found together, the Campbell book is not normally joined with them as part of a set; a uniform binding must have been commissioned by an owner who recognized obvious affinities in content and illustration.
(ST14245)

Keywords: Riviere

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PJP Catalog: 73.114

ITALY, A POEM. [and] POEMS. [and, as a companion volume,] CAMPBELL, THOMAS. THE POETICAL WORKS. SAMUEL ROGERS.
ITALY, A POEM. [and] POEMS. [and, as a companion volume,] CAMPBELL, THOMAS. THE POETICAL WORKS.