A New and Improved Roman History. The Second Edition.
London: J. Johnson, 1798. 8vo, viii, 496 pp, with Blake's 4 engravings after Fuseli. A very good copy in quarter calf over marbled boards; slight wear at corners. Internally very clean and plates crisp, although the text and plates are all quite tightly trimmed, with narrow margins. Plate 2 in particular has been trimmed to the left print margin, although not with any encroachment on the image. Plates 1 and 2's imprints have also been shaved, and page numbers are also occasionally partially shaved on he upper page edge. First edition illustrated by Blake; one of Blakes scarcer works, seldom seen in the trade or at auction; there was also a volume on English history published in the same year. We have had one other copy in the last seven years, and a separate set of the plates extracted from the book. The plates are strong and lively renditions of moments such as the death of Cleopatra; with the recent discovery of an original drawing by Fuseli for Allens English History (now in the Essick Collection) we now are quite sure that the illustrations for both volumes were drawn by Fuseli. Bentley, BB, 416. Essick, William Blakes Commercial Book Illustrations, XXXVII. Bentley, BB 416, Essick, William Blake's Commercial Book Illustrations XXXVII (p77).
(Item Id: 108742)