A New System, or, An Analysis of Ancient Mythology: Wherein an attempt is made to divest Tradition of Fable; and to reduce Truth to its Original Purity. In this Work is given an History of the Babylonians, Chaldeans, Egyptians, Canaanites, Helladians, Ionians, Lelegés, Dorians, Pelasgi: Also of the Scythæ, IndoScythæ, Ethiopians, Phenicians. The Whole contains an Account of the principal Events in the first Ages, from Deluge to the Dispersion; also the various Migrations, which ensued, and the Settlements made afterwards in different Parts: Circumstances of great Consequence, which were subsequent to the Gentile History of Moses.

London: Printed for T. Payne... M.DCC.LXXIV [Vols. I and II 1774, Vol. III 1776]. 3 vols., 4to, (iii)-xx, (2), 516; vii, (i), 537, (2); (iii)-viii, 601 pp. with 31 engravings on 30 listed plates, plus 3 maps. Contemporary diced calf with wide gilt and blind-tooled borders, recently rebacked, marbled edges and endpapers. A clean and wide-margined copy with superb impressions of the plates. Armorial bookplates of John Pulteney. First edition of Vol. 1 and 2, only edition of Vol. 3. Of the 31 plates, 25 are signed by Blake’s master Basire and three unsigned plates are probably from his shop. As such it is “highly likely” (Bentley) Blake had a hand in them. The influence of the book on Blake’s later work is surer still, as Essick writes: “Blake’s familiarity with the book is certain, for he refers to what ‘Jacob Bryant, and all antiquaries have proved’ in “A Descriptive Catalogue” of 1809. Many of Blake’s excursions into syncretic mythology may have been influenced by Bryant’s theories and several of Blake’s designs were very probably influenced by the illustrations in the book.” The engravings in this copy are beautifully dark and crisp, clearly early impressions of the plates. Bartolozzi's engraving facing p.394 of vol 2. is signed with his name and printed in ochre; in the second edition the plate was reworked, signed by Sherwin, and printed in black. Essick, CBI, p.117, C. Bentley 439A. (Item Id: 110832)

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.