The Life of Lorenzo de' Medici, Called the Magnificent. The Third Edition, Corrected. Vol. I [-II]. [With:] ROSCOE. Illustrations, Historical and Critical, of the Life of Lorenzo de' Medici, Called the Magnificent; With an Appendix of Original and Other Documents.
London: Printed for A. Strahan, T. Cadell [et al.], 1797. Together, three volumes. Sm. folio, not quite uniformly bound in full calf, backstrips lettered and decorated in gilt, covers gilt-ruled, dentelles gilt-stamped in Greek key pattern, all edges marbled. [iii]. xxvi, 320, 136(Appendix); [iii], 312, 48("Poesie.."), 112(Appendix), 11(Index); [viii], 223, 168(Appendix) pp. Engraved frontispiece portrait, two title-page vignettes, and ten headpieces & two tailpieces after medallions and other images in The Life..; engraved frontispiece portrait and three plates printed in sepia in Illustrations. Engraved, annotated bookplates on flyleaves in The Life.. and signature in Illustrations of Henry Drury. backstrip tips worn, some covers reattached, plates in third volume foxed; a good clean copy with an interesting association in handsome contemporary bindings. Third Edition of The Life..., which first appeared in 1795; first edition of Illustrations.. Evidently these are large-paper copies; certainly the margins are very substantial. William Roscoe (1753-1831) was a prosperous Liverpool attorney who was a keen student of the classics and of Italian history and literature, and who developed for many years his project of writing an account of the Renaissance in Italy as centered on the life and acheivements of the Medici family in general and Lorenzo in particular. The work was highly successful and passed through several editions and translations. In 1822 Roscoe published the supplementary Illustrations.. in large part to document his assertions and to refute critics of his insistence on the primary role of the Medicis. The two engraved bookplates are of Henry Drury, a teacher at Harrow -- where he instructed and befriended Lord Byron -- and later rector at Fingert. He was a noted book-collector, a close friend of Thomas Frognall Dibdin, and one of the founding members of the Roxburghe Club.
(Item Id: 6049)