First Edition of Gulliver's Travels
SWIFT, Jonathan. Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In four parts. Printed for Benj. Motte...
First edition, Teerink’s State A, with the following points: Part I, p. 35, line 5 has “Subsidies” correctly spelled; Part III, p. 74 is misnumbered “44;” Part III, G6 is a cancel, with “Part III” at foot; Part IV, p. 52, line 1 has the misprint “buth is.” Four parts in two octavo volumes (7 11/16 x 4 5/8 inches; 195 x 118 mm). xvi, 148; [6], 164; [6], 155, [1, blank]; [8], 199, [1] pp. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Gulliver in the second state, with the inscription “Captain Lemuel Gulliver of Redriff. Ætat. suæ LVIII.” around the oval the the tablet bearing a Latin inscription (printed on paper with vertical chain-lines), four maps, and two plans.

Contemporary speckled calf, handsomely and almost invisibly rebacked to style. Boards of volume III in paneled, speckled calf, but this volume was published later. Green and red morocco spine labels. Boards double ruled in gilt. Spines elaborately tooled in gilt. Board edges tooled in gilt. Vol. III edges speckled red. Original endpapers. Two previous owner's bookplates on front endpapers of each volume. Some occasional, minor toning and marginal spotting. Overall a very good copy. Housed together in a custom quarter morocco slipcase.

Provenance: Earl of Guilford, Wroxton Abbey (engraved armorial bookplates) — Robert Borthwick Adam (1863-1940, gilt-stamped leather bookplates with portrait of Samuel Johnson). According the the "Newly Edited," 1909 edition of Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, Frederick North, Second Earl of Guilford, better known as Lord North was the "Prime Minister durning the American War, and was largely responsible for the measures that resulted in the loss of our American colonies. He was unfriendly to [Samuel] Johnson and suppressed his pamphlet on the Falkland Islands." (Pg 393). The owner of our second bookplate, R.B. Adam, was a department store owner in New York and book collector. He collected rare books and manuscripts related to English Literature and with a particular focus on Samuel Johnson. The provenance of this copy, clearly was an enticement for him.

Gulliver’s Travels, to use the popular title, is one of the greatest satires in the English language—or any language, for that matter. It was an immediate success, which accounts in part for its bibliographical complexity, and has been hailed as a book that “would last as long as the language, because it described the vices of man in all nations” (D.N.B.). Vice not withstanding, and unintentionally, it has become not just a great satirical novel, but a juvenile classic as well.

Grolier, 100 English, 42. Hubbard, pp. 15-17. Printing and the Mind of Man 185. Rothschild 2104. Teerink 289.

HBS # 68471 $75,000