Gulliver’s Travels. First Edition (1726)

Author: Jonathan Swift

Book ID: 66730

Price: 9,500.00

Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts by Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships. London: Printed for Benj. Motte, 1726. First Edition. Mixed Issue Set. Two volumes bound in four. Volume One: Teerink’s ‘AA’ edition; Volume Two: Teerink’s ‘B’ edition. Engraved frontispiece in second state with vertical chain-lines, six engraved plates. Titles within double-rule borders, woodcut initials, head- and tail-pieces, advertisement to front of volume (1). Bound in early 20th century full green calf by Zaehnsdorf, raised bands, spines in six panels decorated in gilt, title label to second & third with date to foot. Covers with gilt triple fillet boarders & floral roll to inner edges. Housed in slipcase. A very handsome set, contents bright & clean throughout.

There were three issues of the first edition of the Travels published in 1726, known as the A, AA, and B editions. The A edition was published in October of 1726 and sold out within a week. Swift endeavoured to remain anonymous as the author of the travels. The printer Motte wrote that he received the second part of the travels ‘he knew not from whence, nor from whom, dropped at his house in the dark, from a hackney coach.’ Gulliver’s Travels has given Swift an immortality beyond temporary fame. All those who had been fascinated by the realism and vivid detail of Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe were captivated again, even though they knew that Gulliver must be fiction. The brilliance and thoroughness, with which his logic and invention work out the piquancy of scale involved by the giant human among the Lilliputians, and then by a minikin Gulliver among the Brobdingnagians, ran away with the author’s original intention.

Gulliver’s Travels has achieved the final apotheosis of a satirical fable ‘(PMM). [Grolier], [100 English, 42]. [Printing and the Mind of Man 185]. [Teerink 289]

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