The Satires of Juvenal: translated and illustrated by Francis Hodgson.

  • Juvenal
  • London: Printed by T. Benseley... for Payne and Mackinlay 1807


SKU: 3070 Category: Tags: , ,


FIRST EDITION, 4to, pp. [viii], xxxix, [i], 572. Contemporary straight-grained green morocco attributed to Lewis, boards with a gilt rule border enclosing a double blind rule and blind cornerpieces, within them a further frame of gilt and blind rules with gilt triangular corner- and side-pieces, enclosing a lozenge-shaped frame of gilt and blind rules, spine heavily gilt in compartments with double raised bands, turn-ins and hinges also green morocco gilt, all edges gilt. Later fore-edge painting of the ‘Bridge of Sighs’ at St John’s College, Cambridge. A little minor spotting. Spine very slightly darkened, joints and edges a touch rubbed, front flyleaf reattached with archival tape. Bookplate of Henry Drury to front endpaper, annotated by him with his shelfmark and ‘coll: et perf: / bound by Lewis’.


The most important of the early writings of Francis Hodgson (1781-1852), who embarked on a literary career before help from his friend Byron and ecclesiastical preferment allowed him to focus more on classical scholarship and education; he eventually was appointed provost of Eton. Hodgson's translation was what brought him together with Byron in the first place - Byron thought it displayed 'unquestionable genius' and defended it against a critical notice in the Edinburgh review. This is the copy of Hodgson's friend, the classicist, master of Harrow, and bibliophile Henry Drury (1778-1841) and it appears as lot 2391 in the 1827 sale catalogue of the first parts of Drury's substantial library. In that entry the book is described as being in 'green morocco, with joints' but without attribution - though Lewis was Drury's favoured binder and many of the lots are described as 'morocco by Lewis'.
The fore-edge painting is from some time later, not least because it depicts (possibly after a print by Rowlandson) the Bridge of Sighs at St John's Cambridge, which was not built until 1831. While a pretty picture - and relatively large for a fore-edge (the volume is almost 30cm tall) - it has no discernable connection to the contents or provenance, since Hodgson and Drury were both at King's, not St John's.

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