This three-volume set of Lyrical Ballads early printings is made up of the second edition (1800) of Volume 1, the second edition (1800) of Volume 2 (actually a first), and the third edition (1802) of Volume 1. Curiously, the 1800 Volume 2 and the 1802 Volume 1 are in conforming bindings, while the 1800 Volume 1 has a different binding. I offer them as a set of three. The 1800 edition may be considered the first collected edition because of the general unavailability of the 1798 edition. Briefly, here’s the bibliographical background.1798 saw two printings of Lyrical Ballads in one volume in an edition of 500 copies. Many of these were never sold and then disposed of. In January, 1801, Lyrical Ballads was published again, but in 2 volumes, dated 1800. Volume 1 was partly revised and included the first appearance of the renowned Preface. It was termed the second edition. Volume 2 was entirely new, and is thus a first edition, but named the second edition on the title page, to conform with the companion printing. In 1802, both these 1800 volumes were revised and reprinted, becoming the third edition of Volume 1 and the second edition (though named third edition) of Volume 2. (By 1805 both volumes were reprinted together as the fourth edition, leading to fewer headaches for bibliographers. ) Since the 1798 edition is virtually unobtainable, the present 3-volume set includes the complete first collectible edition of the entirety of the Lyrical Ballads. comprising two volumes (1800), plus volume 1 of the revised 1802 (two-volume) edition. Volume 1 (1800) contains Tintern Abbey, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, We Are Seven, The Nightingale, etc. , as well as the first appearance of Wordsworth’s distinguished Preface to the Lyrical Ballads, one of the most important essays in English literary history. Volume 2 (1800) has the very first appearance of poems such as Michael, To a Sexton, Old Cumberland Beggar, Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known, etc. Both volumes of the 1802 edition contained numerous changes by the authors, including changes by Wordsworth to the Preface. The 1802 printing, as with the 1800 printing, is thought to have been limited to 500 copies, issued in January, 1801. Note: In April, 1801, to correct a printer’s error, the remaining copies in stock were altered by the replacement of several leaves. This copy, like nearly all the copies extant, does not have those replaced leaves. I have many more photos of this set available. T. N. Longman and O. Rees, Paternoster Row, London, printed in Bristol (1800) Signed by previous owner. One front cover detached and one starting, scuffs, some foxing.
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