Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1883. Near Fine.
First edition thus. Finely bound in a prize binding of three-quarter brown morocco with marbled paper boards, five raised bands to spine, titled and ruled in gilt. Near fine, with mild fraying to board edges, light wear to corners and spine ends, and previous owner's bookplate to front pastedown. Overall, an attractive copy, and very clean internally. Sketches of Italy combines selections from two of Symonds' previous works, Sketches in Italy and Greece (1879) and Sketches and Studies in Italy (1879). Chapters are devoted to the cities of Orvieto, Ravenna, Rimini, Canosa, and Palermo, among others. In his prefatory note, Symonds writes, "I have been careful to include the more picturesque pieces of these two series, omitting essays upon historical and literary topics, in order that the present volume might assume the character of an Italian Sketch book, and adapt itself to the use of travellers rather than of students." Symonds, an essayist, poet, and translator, is perhaps best known for his writings on the Italian Renaissance. He has authored Introduction to the Study of Dante, Studies of the Greek Poets, Renaissance in Italy, and a translation of the Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini. This edition of Sketches in Italy was published as volume 2126 in Tauchnitz's Collection of British Authors series.