Handsomely Bound Baskerville Press Editions of John Milton's EpicsJohn Milton. Paradise Lost. [with]: Paradise Regain'd ... To Which Is Added Samson Agonistes: and Poems Upon Several Occasions. Birmingham: John Baskerville, 1759. Second Baskerville Press editions, issued just one year after the first editions. Two quarto volumes. Handsome contemporary full brown calf rebacked in calf gilt, red and green morocco spine labels, raised bands. Minor edge wear, with some abrading to the corners. Bookplate and gift inscription to front pastedown. Scattered foxing. A lovely copy in very good condition. From a private collection from New Orleans.
Lost generally conceded to be one of the greatest poems in the English language; and there is no religious epic in English which measures up to Milton's masterpiece" (Magill, 5ll). In Baskerville's three-page preface to Paradise Lost, which appeared only in his 1758 first edition, he stated his aims and ideals as a fine printer: "It is not my desire to print many books; but such only as are books of Consequence ... which the public may be pleased to see in an elegant dress..." Paradise Lost first published 1667; Paradise Regain 'd, 1671. These editions from the text of Bishop Thomas Newton. Title page of Paradise Lost with colon after "Birmingham" (no priority established). Second state title page of Paradise Regain 'd, with the first word on line 8 cleanly and correctly printed "SAMSON." Gaskell 6, 7. Armorial bookplates, small armorial blindstamps, owner inscriptions.
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