Ovid’s Metamorphosis Englished, Mythologiz’d, And Represented in Figures. Plus An Essay to the Translation of Virgil’s Aeneis. Published at Oxford: John Lichfield, 1632. This is the second edition, which is a revised edition and the first illustrated edition of Sandys’s landmark verse translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, one of the most influential works in Western literature, inspiring authors down to the present. Both Dryden and Pope praised this translation. This second edition includes Sandys’s translation of the first book of Virgil’s Aeneid, which he left unfinished. Each book of Ovid is introduced by a full-page plate by the eminent illustrator Francis Cleyn. These plates have been described as “the first important series of the 17th century in England” (Hodnett). “The greatest repository of allegorized myth in English is the commentary which Sandys added to the 1632 edition of his translation of the Metamorphosis” –Douglas Bush. Quite a clean and neat copy, with frontispiece, portrait and 15 full-page plates by Francis Cleyn. Folio, 13 inches by 9, contemporary calf, covers show signs of wear, leather is cracked at the joints and there is a split down the upper third of the front joint. Small hole in page 370 repaired with one-inch overlay and hand-printed text, one corner of page 333 is missing, not affecting text. One plate has a dark stain, 1/4 inch, and a lighter stain surrounding it, also visible on the next few pages. One of the plates has been rebacked to repair a tear, with no loss. Minimal damage. Pagination is erratic and occasionally incorrect, but all pages and plates are present, including blanks and the errata page at the end. Interior is quite clean except for the front blanks, one of which has numerous notations, including a star-shaped (Masonic?) numerical diagram that possibly relates to a former owner’s horoscope (a Mr. Chamberlain?). The book is overall in excellent condition. STC 18966. I have several editions of both Horace and Ovid, so I would be happy to sell those books as collections at a hefty discount.

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Important 1632 Ovid’s Metamorphosis by George Sandys, with Plates


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