Hard Cover. London: Printed for Taylor and Hessey, 1820. First Edition. Very Good.
First edition, with half-title and publisher's advertisements present. Original publisher's brown cloth and brown paper boards, with white paper label to the spine, lettered in black. Some wear to the extremities, mostly to spine with some splitting to the upper spine and a few small stains to the covers; bookplate to front pastedown, some scattered spots, otherwise a clean copy free of any repairs or restoration. An attractive example of a completely unsophosticated copy in the extremely scarce publisher boards. Keats' most popular collection of poetry, Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes is seldom found in the original publisher's boards. A scarce title to begin with, copies are often found in contemporary or modern fine bindings and are typically lacking the half-title leaf and eight pages of publisher's terminal advertisements. This copy has both the ads and the half-title and is entirely free of repairs or restorations. Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St Agnes is Keats' third and final volume of poetry. In addition to the title narrative poems, it included Keats' renowned odes, including "Ode to A Nightingale," "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "Ode on Melancholy," "Ode to Psyche," and "To Autumn," among others. Widely considered his best and most acclaimed work, these odes are, as the Encyclpaedia Britannica proclaims, "Keats' most distinctive poetic achievement." Additionally, this volume includes the unfinished "Hyperion, a Fragment," which Keats, still discouraged by the negative critical reviews of Poems (1817) and Endymion (1818), was hesitant to publish and only agreed to include it in this volume at the insistence of his publishers. Notably, Keats produced these poems, widely considered his best and most acclaimed work, during the most turbulent period of his short life. In 1819, Keats mourned the loss of his brother Thomas and grew increasingly depressed as a result of his waning health coinciding with the waxing of his love for Fanny Brawne. Still, Keats was able to harness the emotions of this period to produce some of his most powerful verse and securing his status as one of the leading poets of the Romantic period.