London: J. Tonson; A. Bettesworth and W. Taylor, E. Curll, and J. Brown, 1727; 1717. Two duodecimo volumes, uniformly bound in contemporary full calf gilt, raised bands, maroon spine label. Lightest scattered foxing and rubbing to bindings, minor loss to spine ends on first volume. Item #100175
Illustrated English translation of the classic Roman epic of transformation, later printings, with eight plates in the first volume and seven plates in the second. "Rough is his Skin, with sudden Hairs o'er-grown, / His Bosom pants with Fears before unknown: / Transformed at length, he flies away in haste, / And wonders why he flies away so Fast. / But as by chance, within a neigh'bring Brook, / He saw his branching Horns and alter'd Look, / Wretched Acteon!" Although this copy has clearly been together since the early eighteenth century, it is made up of two different editions of Ovid. Volume I is the third Jacob Tonson edition (originally published in 1717), containing books one through six, including translations by Dryden and Addison. Volume II is hack bookseller Edmund Curll's rival version, quickly issued to capitalize on Tonson's success, containing alternate translations of books nine through fifteen. Both volumes bear the ownership signature of Michael Blount, brother of Alexander Pope's lifelong friend (and rumored lover) Martha Blount. Pope was a contributor to the later books of Tonson's edition of Ovid, not present here, and a sworn enemy of Curll, a primary target of Pope's Dunciad (a work that Curll in turn promptly pirated). A splendidly bound set, bringing together an intriguing group of eighteenth-century literary players.