1783. London: C, Bathurst, T. Payne and others, 1783.
5 vols, 8vo, , cxxxi, 335; , 407: , 427; , 438; , (16, subscribers and errata), 322, vi, (55, errata and index) pp., with a frontispiece also in each volume and 3 further plates in The Life of Ariosto following the preface in vol. 1. Original calf, with moderate wear; carefully restored. Spines with red labels and raised bands, all somewhat worn, and the label to vol. 5 is missing. Internally a clean set, with endpapers a trifle browned, page edges slightly dusty and just a few occasional marks throughout the set. Plates are clean; the Blake plate is the frontispiece to vol. 3. Bookplate of Sir Charles Dance in each volume.
§ First edition. Blake’s engraving is after a drawing by Stothard depicting the furious Orlando brandishing a huge tree. Essick notes: “In a letter... to William Hayley, Blake states that he is ‘absorbed’ in the study of several poets including Ariosto.” Bentley, BB, 417A. Essick, CBI, XII. Item #108762