1783. London: J. Johnson, 1783.
3 vols, small 8vo, (2), xiv, lxxii, (2), 264; (2), 342; (4), 301, (engraved music for songs), 32, (index and corrections). Of the 17 engravings 9 are confirmed as designed by Stothard and engraved by Blake and 2 further ones may also have been executed by Blake. A good set in clean condition with excellent engravings. Bound in contemporary tree calf with gilt rules and recently uniformly rebacked with gilt titles to new spines. Leaf A1 in vol 3 (music vol) has been removed : this appears to have been an advertisement, half-title or blank, as the title precedes this, and the musical scores commence on A2. Slight wear to corners of boards.
§ First edition. Ritson, a notable eccentric who eventually went completely mad, was incarcerated at Hoxton after starting a bonfire of his manuscripts in his rooms in Gray’s Inn. His editions of the early English texts are highly regarded. Bentley, Blake Books 491, Essick, William Blake's Commercial Book Illustrations XIV. Item #108746