1783. London: C, Bathurst, T. Payne and others, 1783.
5 vols, 8vo, pp , cxxxi, 335; , 407: , 427; , 438; , (16, subscribers and errata), 322, vi, (55, errata and index), 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; front board and front endpaper to vol 1 is detached, but other bindings are holding. Generally, spines are worn along spine edges with cracks to vols 1, 3 and 5, and also wear to the boards at the corners. Spines with red labels and raised bands, all somewhat worn, and the label to vol 5 is almost totally 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 and the Blake plate has a good image though is dusty and slightly browned in the margins.
§ 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