1835. London: Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange, MDCCCXXXV .
8vo, (xii), (1)-216 pp. Uncut in the original drab paper boards, white paper label. 1.5cm chip from head of backstrip and a small section rubbed white at foot, label soiled but just legible, boards clean, a few light spots to the first signature, monogram bookplate of Annie Burr Jennings on front free endpaper with motto “Otium sine literis mors est” (leisure without literature is death). A very good copy in a quarter morocco slipcase.
§ First edition of Browning’s five-act epic poem. The figure of the alchemist Paracelsus captivated many in Browning’s generation: a lone genius, searching for the hidden laws of nature, and testing the limits of the divine and the mundane. Browning’s telling of his story dwells on his pursuit of education rather than his pursuit of love. This copy appears to be in a remaindered boards binding, with the label but without the ads that usually accompany copies so bound. Ashley Library I, p.111. Tinker 414. Item #109303