- 1770, T. Thompson [false imprint]
T. Thompson [false imprint]
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- Good. B00IRJ8PK8  'new translation' [T. Thompson] (London), 4 x 7 inches tall full period leather bound, five raised bands to spine, folding engraved frontispiece, xvi, 237,  pp. No date, but ESTC places the date at 1770 (prior owner dates his ownership at 1774). While the title page lists the publisher as 'T. Thompson, ' this is a false imprint, according to ESTC. Covers are quite rubbed, bumped and edgeworn. Front hinge is tender but holds. Folding frontispiece engraving is creased and torn, with minor loss to the lower margin rule only. 1774 Boston prior owner name to top of title page. A few pages, especially front prelims, with soiling or foxing. Otherwise, a very good copy of a scarce early edition of this influential classic. ESTC lists only two institutional copies worldwide-one at the British Library, and the other at Duke University Library. Preserved in a Brodart rare book box, made from archival-quality, acid-free, lignin-free, 20-point light tan folder stock with a 3 percent calcium carbonate buffer, securely held in place by Velcro buttons, with title page reproduced on front cover of box and title on the spine of the box. An English translation of Solomon Gessner's 'Tod Abels, ' or 'The Death of Abel. ' The translator is not named, but this is believed to be an unauthorized 1770 London printing of a version of Mary Collyer's much-reprinted 1761 English translation. Reference: ESTC No. T94316. ~KKK~ Gessner (1730-1788) was a Swiss painter and poet. Collected editions of Gessner's works were repeatedly published (2 vols, 1777-1778, finally 2 vols., 1841, both at Zurich). J.L. Lowes notes that Mary Collyer's translation of the original was as common as Daniel Defoe's 'Robinson Crusoe': 'No book of foreign growth has ever become so popular. ' He goes on to say that 'Byron read it when he was eight years old, and denied with a little too much emphasis its influence on [his play] 'Cain. ' The influence is equally clear for Samuel Taylor Coleridge, he maintains: 'The Wandering Jew and Cain together took possession of the astral body of an ancient Mariner. ' In Lowes, J.L., 'The Road to Xanadu: A Study in the Ways of the Imagination' (London: Picador, 1978), pp. 234.