A Select Collection Of English Songs. In Three Volumes.

A Select Collection Of English Songs. In Three Volumes.
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London: J. Johnson, 1783. 3 vols., small 8vo, (2), xiv, lxxii, (2), 264; (2), 342, (32, index and corrections); (6), (302, engraved music) pp. With engraved frontispiece and 16 engraved scenes, of which 9 are engraved by William Blake [7 signed and 2 unsigned] after designs by Stothard. Contemporary calf with roman key borders, backstrip gilt, all edges gilt, lacking labels, considerably worn, occasional staining in the very edges of the margins but in general a clean and pleasing copy within. First edition, complete with the advertisement leaf (A1) in Vol. 3: “The following Music was originally designed to be bound up with the Volume to which it belongs. But it being thought that the appearance, convenience and utility of the Work would be more favoured by the present arrangement, the Reader is desired to excuse such little inaccuracies of reference as have been necessarily produced by the alteration.” Ritson, a notable eccentric who eventually went completely mad, was incarcerated at Hoxton after staring a bonfire of his manuscripts in his rooms in Gray’s Inn. His editions of the early English texts are highly regarded. Essick, CBE, XIV. Bentley, BB, 491. (Item Id: 110830)

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