1804. London: Printed for Thomas Taylor, by R. Wilks, Chancery Lane and Sold by E. Jeffery, and R.H. Evans, Pall-Mall, 1804.
4to, 5 vols. (12), [i-iii], iv-cxxiii, -544; (4), [1-3], 4-657, (1, index); (4), [1-3], 4-600; (4), [1-3], 4-614; (4), [1-3], 4-720 pp. Half calf with marbled boards, backstrip gilt, some wear to extremities including some loss of paper from vols. 1 and 2. A handsome set with large margins. Very good.
§ First edition. Thomas Taylor (1753-1806) was the first to translate and publish the complete works of Plato into English; his Works of Plato, the culmination of a lifetime’s study of both philosophy and the Classics, was an obvious landmark for men and women of letters. “[It] was through Taylor’s translations that the Romantic poets had access to Platonism: they are probably one of the sources of Blake’s mythology, as well as his repudiation of the natural science of Bacon and Newton, and his late tempera painting The Arlington Court Picture was almost certainly inspired by Taylor’s translation of Porphyry’s On the Cave of the Nymphs; there is no doubt that Coleridge’s acquaintance with Proclus was assisted by Taylor’s translation and commentary, though Coleridge’s appreciation of Taylor is invariably laced with acid criticism” (DNB). Item #105711