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    A Handsome Copy of Chapman's Homer

    George Chapman. The Iliads of Homer prince of poets. Neuer before in any languag truely translated. With a coment vppon some of his chiefe places; donne according to the Greeke by Geo: Chapman. London: Printed for Nathaniell Butter, [1611?]. [Bound with:] George Chapman. Homer's Odysses. Translated according to ye Greeke by. Geo:Chapman. London: By Rich: Field, for Nathaniell Butter, [1614?]. First editions. Folio (10 x 7 inches; 254 x 178 mm). [22], 341, [13]; [8], 193, [3] pages. Lacking the engraved title pages. Quarter red-brown calf over brown buckram, gilt black morocco lettering piece, five raised bands. Late eighteenth century owner's signature on the first leaf; "James Rowe" also rendered an elaborate but somewhat inexpert monogram in four colors on the verso of the final leaf in the book, and another monogram and elaborate manuscript poem entitled "James Rowe's Book 1776 A[nno] Dom[ini]" on the blanks preceding Homer's Odysses. A few pages trimmed close. Occasional light soiling and staining, but the first dozen leaves are more significantly stained, with the first and second leaves on a stub. Pinhole-sized marginal wormhole from T4 until the end of the textblock; a second wormhole begins on 2B1, and a third and fourth on 2N3 -- these also continue until the end of the textblock and are marginal as well, affecting printed marginal notes occasionally. Overall a very good copy.

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    George Chapman's most famous work may be best known because of John Keats's 1816 poem "On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer," which begins, famously, "Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold, / And many goodly states and kingdoms seen." This well-read copy of Chapman's Illiad and Odyssey was also prized by its late eighteenth century John Rowe of Cornwall, who -- though he was no Keats -- was also inspired by the book to write a few lines of verse on the blank page preceding the Odyssey, including this stanza: "This Pretty Book my Name shall have / When I am Dead & laid in Grave, / And greedy Worms my flesh have Eat, / Then you may read my Name Compleat. J: Rowe." ESTC S119234, S119235.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    2nd Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
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