Third Octavo Edition of "Gulliver's Travels," Bound Together with the Four "Keys," in a Contemporary Binding[Jonathan Swift]. Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, first a Surgeon, and then a Captain of several Ships. London: Printed for Benj. Motte, 1726.
Third octavo edition of "Gulliver's Travels" (Teerink's B edition), published in December 1726, and often referred to as the "first edition, third issue." Four parts in two octavo volumes (7.625 x 4.625 inches; 194 x 118 mm.), with continuous pagination to each volume. viii (including general title to Volume I), [4, title and contents of Part I], 148, [6, title and contents of Part II], -310; [6, general title to Volume II and contents of Part III], 154, [8, title and contents of Part IV], -353, [1, blank] pages. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Lemuel Gulliver by Sturter Sheppard, in the second state, printed on paper with vertical chain lines, with the inscription "Captain Lemuel Gulliver of Redriff. Ætat. suæ LVIII." around the oval and the tablet bearing a Latin inscription, five engraved maps (two for Part III and one for each of the other Parts), and an engraved plate depicting the writing machine in the "Grand Academy of Lagado" in Part III. Decorative and historiated woodcut head-pieces, decorative woodcut tail-pieces and initials.
[Bound together with (at the end of Part I in Volume I):] [Edmund Curll]. A Key, Being Observations and Explanatory Notes, upon the Travels of Lemuel Gulliver. By Signor Corolini, a noble Venetian now residing in London. In a Letter to Dean Swift. Translated from the Italian Original. London: Printed in the Year 1726. 29, [3, publisher's advertisements ("New Books printed for H. Curll in the Strand")] pages. Catchword at the foot of the final page of advertisements: "Tantum."
[And (at the end of Part II in Volume I):] [Edmund Curll]. The Brobdingnagians. Being a Key to Gulliver's Voyage to Brobdingnag. In a Second Letter to Dean Swift. London: Printed in the Year 1726. 32 pages.
[And (at the end of Part III in Volume II):] [Edmund Curll]. The Flying Island, &c. Being a Key to Gulliver's Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Glubbdubdribb, Luggnagg, and Japan. In a Third Letter to Dean Swift. London: Printed in the Year 1726. 32 pages.
[And (at the end of Part IV in Volume II):] [Edmund Curll]. The Kingdom of Horses. Being a Key to Gulliver's Voyage to the Houyhnhnms. In a Fourth Letter to Dean Swift. London: Printed in the Year 1726. 28 pages.
Contemporary polished calf. Covers with gilt double fillet border, spines ruled in gilt in compartments with five raised bands and brown leather labels ruled and lettered in gilt (the label has gone missing from Volume II label), board edges decoratively tooled in blind, sprinkled edges. The bindings are slightly worn, with board edges and spine extremities rubbed; the joints of Volume I are starting at the head of the spine; the joints of Volume II are cracking, but still sound, the head and foot of spine are chipped, and the headband is loose at the foot of spine. Occasional browning (especially at the end of Part II); a few small mostly marginal stains or ink spots. Volume I with slight dampstaining to the front endpapers and to the frontispiece portrait; tiny wormtrack in the gutter margin of the Key at the end of Part II. In Volume II, leaves C2 and C3 (pages 19/20 and 21/22) of the Key at the end of Part IV are slightly darkened and creased at the upper margin. Despite these minor flaws, this is an excellent copy, extremely scarce bound together with the four Keys (only one copy has sold at auction since 1975). Early ink stamp with the initials "A G" on the front pastedown of each volume and early ink signature of Amos (?) Goddard on the front free endpaper. Ink signature of "L. M. Bukowski, Jr. 1970" on the verso of the front free endpaper of each volume.
"Gulliver's Travels has given Swift an immortality beyond temporary fame. All those who had been fascinated by the realism and vivid detail of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe were captivated again, even though they knew that Gulliver must be fiction. The brilliance and thoroughness with which his logic and invention work out the picquancies of scale involved by the giant human among the Lilliputians, and then by a minikin Gulliver among the Brobdingnagians, ran away with the author's original intention. Gulliver's Travels has achieved the final apotheosis of a satirical fable" (Printing and the Mind of Man).
The four Keys were written anonymously by Edmund Curll and published by Henry Curll. The Key to Part I is signed at the end: Corolini, di Marco. The remaining Keys are signed at end: C.D.M. The four Keys were issued together in 1726 with the general title: Lemuel Gulliver's Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. Compendiously methodized, for Publick Benefit; with Observations and Explanatory Notes throughout.
"Ralph Straus, The Unspeakable Curll, 1927, p. 283 says that "The Evening Post, Sept. 21, 1727 has this advertisement: A Compleat Key to Gulliver's Travels. A New Impression. (This is probably the above [Lemuel Gulliver's Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. Compendiously methodized, for Publick Benefit; with Observations and Explanatory Notes throughout. London: 1726], after the four 'Keys' had first appeared separately.)-These Keys (without the frontisp., the general title, and the 2 pp. of Verses, and the 16 pp. advs. at the end) are sometimes found bound up with the genuine Travels, one at the end of each of the four Parts. It seems that this practice first began with the B edition (No. 291, ante)" (Teerink 1215).
"Curll had a special reason to salute Gulliver's Travels. It gave him the opportunity to issue a key to the book in four parts, published between late November and the end of the year...The work took the form of letters to Swift, with paraphrase, quotation and impertinent commentary intermixed, but its chief purpose lay elsewhere: 'It was a neat project, which skilfully advertised a number of recent Curll publications, regretting that they were not to be found in the libraries of the various Royal palaces which Gulliver visited' (Straus, p. 280)...Corolini offers a few unexpected insights: unusually for the time, he has seen that the storms in the South Sea at the beginning of the work have oblique reference to the great Bubble of 1720. The inclusion of this observation allows a note on Swift's poem The Bubble...In fact, the Key functions as a kind of advertising brochure, in which the writer takes every chance to puff various items of Swiftiana on sale at the bookshop, however contrived the link...The coup de grace came when the four parts were reissued in a single volume as Lemuel Gulliver's Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. Compendiously methodized, for Publick Benefit; with Observations and Explanatory Notes throughout. Here, the first few lines of the title are set out in such a way that a careless buyer might easily suppose that he or she was purchasing the original rather than the shameless spin-off " (Paul Baines and Pat Rogers, Edmund Curll, Bookseller (2007), pages 178-179).
ESTC T139452, and T2486, T2487, T2484, and T2485 (the four Keys). Grolier, 100 English, 42. Printing and the Mind of Man 185. Rothschild 2108. Teerink 291, and 1215 (the four Keys). See also Ralph Straus, The Unspeakable Curll, page 116, note 2.
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