Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul.

Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul.
click image to zoom

London: W. Pickering, Chancery Lane, and W. Newbery, 6, Chenies Street, Bedford Square, 1839. Small 8vo, xxi, (3), 74 pp. Original pebbled plum cloth, first state of the binding decorated in blind on both covers, the cartouche smaller than in the 2nd binding and with ruled lines in blind not present in the 2nd binding, "BLAKE'S POEMS." stamped in gilt on the spine (rather than on the front cover, as in the 2nd binding), ruled lines in blind on the spine (lacking in the 2nd binding). Upper joint just splitting but holding, similar split to the hinge. A remarkably fine copy, fresh and clean. Enclosed in a modern protective box. First Typographical Issue, with the poem “The Little Vagabond” not present - this has long been held to be the first issue (see Keynes) although others have claimed that it was present but cancelled due to content and thus this is the second issue. Either case is plausible; copies of this issue turn up more frequently in our experience, which is to say very rarely. The only other copy known in this binding is in the Essick collection and is inscribed on the front free endpaper: "James J. G. Wilkinson [the editor of the volume] / 13 Store Street / Bedford Square. / July 16. 1839." This date is one week after the printed date of the "Preface," page xxi. It was acquired Feb. 1997 from Quaritch through John Windle ($4000). The preface (by J.J. Garth Wilkinson) gives a mostly favorable account of Blake’s life in the context of his work and concludes stirringly: “If the volume gives one impulse to the New Spiritualism which is now dawning on the world;-if it leads one reader to think, that all Reality for him, in the long run, lies out of the limits of space and time; and that spirits, and not bodies, and still less garments, are men; if it gives one blow, even the faintest, to those term-shifting juggleries which usurp the name of “Philosophical Systems,” (and all the energies of all the forms of genuine Truth must be henceforth expended on these effects,) it will have done its work in its little day...” Keynes, Blake, 135 (issue without “The Little Vagabond"). Bentley, Blake Books, 171 (this issue said by Bentley to have two leaves cancelled by the editor out of prudishness). (Item Id: 106861)

Buy Now

All items are guaranteed as described but may be returned for any reason for resale for a full refund within 10 days of receipt only if packed, shipped, and insured as received. Payment in US dollars drawn on a US bank, including state and local taxes as applicable, is expected upon receipt unless otherwise agreed. Institutions may receive deferred billing and duplicates will be considered for credit. References or advance payment may be requested of anyone ordering for the first time. All sold items remain the property of John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller until paid for in full. Postage is extra and will be via UPS or USPS unless otherwise requested.

PayPal is the prefered payment method but Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are also gladly accepted: if paying by credit card please be sure to read and understand the descriptions of the books you are ordering, as substantial charges can be assessed on returns for which the buyer is responsible. Please also note that under standard terms of business, title does not pass to the purchaser until the purchase price has been paid in full.

ILAB dealers only may deduct their reciprocal discount, provided the account is paid in full within 30 days; thereafter the price is net.