Aphorisms on Man: Translated from the Original Manuscript. Third edition.

1794. London: J. Johnson, 1794.

Small 8vo, viii, 224 pp, with the frontispiece designed by Fuseli and engraved by Blake in the second state. Original calf, worn at edges and corners, both boards reattached, spine worn with a small portion missing at top.Print block firm and clean, with many aphorisms having a faint pencil cross or squiggle alongside. Frontispiece clear, but with browning and slight spotting in the surrounding outer margins.

§ Third edition (first printed in 1788), third state of the plate. The frontispiece is after a drawing by Fuseli (see Essick, Blake and His Contemporaries…, 43 for the original drawing) and is a powerful image. The text notes “End of Vol. I” but no further volumes appeared as a fire destroyed Lavater’s manuscript at the printer. The Huntington Library has Blake’s own copy, extensively annotated throughout. Bentley, BB, 480. Essick and Easson 2, XXXII, 1c. Essick, William Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations, XVIII. Item #108770

Price: $295.00