Peter Bell, A Tale in Verse [Wm. Rossetti's Copy, Signed]

Price: 2,650.00 USD

London: Printed by Strahan and Spottiswoode, Printers-Street | For Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orne, and Brown, Paternoster-Row, 1819. So-called "Second Edition," but largely a reprinting from standing type of the first edition, with first gathering reset and advertisement added to half title verso. Demy 8vo (222 x 135mm): viii,88,[4]pp, complete with half-title, engraved frontispiece by J. C. Bromley (after a painting by Sir George Beaumont), and four pages of terminal ads (many copies lack both half-title and ads). Original drab wrappers lined with white, printed paper spine label (partly perished), on front wrapper, possibly in Rossetti's hand, "Peter Bell / by / Wm Wordsworth / 1819". William Michael Rossetti's copy inscribed on half-title: "To / WM Rossetti / from / J. Deffett Francis," with "1876" added in another hand. And in Rossetti's hand, signed, with his initials on first blank: "Written by John Hamilton Reynolds- / In Shelley's Peter Bell 3 [the Third, the poem satirizing Wordsworth's Peter Bell], this counts as / being Peter Bell 1 [the First]. / W.M.R. / 1905." Laid in is an old bookseller's description with added ink note in an unknown hand: "from Messrs. H. Sotheran & Co.'s list of books / from the library of the late Will Michael Rossetti [no. 2084] / November 1921." Front wrapper reattached to spine and edge wear reinforced by skilled paper conservationist, but a wide-margined, uncut copy, internally clean and bright. According to Wise, "Peter Bell, when uncut in the original paper wrappers, is an exceedingly uncommon book. It is evident that the majority of copies printed were employed, together with The Waggoner &c., to form Vol. iii [dated 1820] of the Poems of 1815. Why a Second Edition should have been printed in 1819, when so many copies of the First Edition still remained on hand in the following year, is a mystery." (Ashley Library) Healey 47. Wise 16. Ashley Library vIII, pp. 21-22. Cornell Collection, p. 4. William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919), writer, critic, and son of the Dante scholar Gabriele Pasquale Giuseppe Rossetti and brother of the painter Gabriel Rossetti, was one of seven founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, in 1848, and became the movement's unofficial organizer and bibliographer. He edited the Brotherhood's literary magazine, The Germ, and wrote poetry reviews for it. He also contributed introductions to important literary works, including a new edition of Shelley's works, commissioned by Moxon and published in 1869. (Rossetti founded the Shelley Society, in 1869, with Dowden and Garnett.) "There is a contradiction at the heart of Rossetti. Contemporaries and posterity have perceived him as dull and pedestrian; in fact his tastes in art and literature, his position on religion and politics were all radical. His literary criticism as well as his art reviews were avant-garde." (ODNB) John Deffett Francis (1815-1901) was an artist, collector, and critic. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we adhere to its codes of ethics.). Early Printing.


Available From

Fine Editions Ltd
308 E. 79th St., Apt. 10J
New York, NY 10075
(917) 969-7418