Sims Reed Rare Books×

The Life of William Blake, Pictor Ignotus. With selections from his poems and other writings ... illustrated from Blake's own Works, in facsimile by W J Linton and in photolithography... and with a few ofBlake's original plates

Blake, William. Gilchrist, Alexander

London. Macmillan and Co. 1863
A fine extra-illustrated example of the first edition of the first important life of Blake.

After Gilchrist died in 1861 the final section of the work was written by Dante Gabriel Rossetti from notes left by Gilchrist.

The additional 54 plates include some of Blake's commercial prints (26 prints), portraits mainly of writers and artists, and a small number of topographical plates including an etching titled in pencil 'Blake's Cottage at Feltham by Gilchrist'.
The 26 plates by Blake are:
Portrait of Democritus from Lavater's Essays on Physiognomy.
Fertilisation of Egypt from Erasmus Darwin's The Botanic Garden.
A Family of New South Wales from J. Hunter's Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island, 1793.
May Day in London from The Wit's Magazine. May 1784.
4 plates from Charles Allen's A New and Improved History of England. 1797.
14 plates from C G Salzmann's Elements of Morality.
4 plates from W. Hayley's The Triumph of Temper.
pp. xvi, 390; viii, 268. 2 vols. 8vo. (160 x 235 mm). The many illustrations include reproductions of the Book of Job (22 plates). The 16 plates Songs of Innocence of Experience and 3 from Thornton's Virgil are taken from the original plates and woodblocks. Full nineteenth century calf by Root with his signature gilt, boards and spine with decorative tooling in gilt, neatly re-backed with original backstrips laid down, the original publisher's decorated cloth front covers bound in, t.e.g.

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