[FINE BINDING-RIVIERE] HAZLITT, WILLIAM. Liber Amoris: or, the New Pygmalion.
London: John Hunt, 1823. First edition, with a manuscript leaf by Hazlitt and an autograph letter signed by James Sheridan Knowles tipped-in. Very finely bound by Riviere in a Moorish style of full ultramarine levant, the covers elaborately tooled with an interlacing strapwork centered by inlaid red morocco dots, the center panels inlaid with green and red morocco leaves, the spine similarly tooled and lettered in gilt with raised bands, the turn-ins similarly tooled and gilt, green watered silk endpapers, the top edge gilt, housed in its original velvet-lined case. 7 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches; the two manuscript items bound-in at front, with half-title, portrait frontispiece, advertisement leaf, engraved title, 192 pp., and with an original paper spine label mounted to a rear blank. Very fine with only the silk lifting off the front free endpaper. The cover detached from the case.
A very fine presentation. The manuscript leaf bound-in here relates to Hazlitt's writing on the mind and consciousness. The letter present is dated 1836 was written from Hazlitt's friend the Irish actor and cousin to Richard Brinsley Sheridan, James Sheridan Knowles to an Edward Curtis. We trace this copy to a 1917 Anderson Galleries auction offering books from the collection of the noted American binder William Matthews. That catalogue described this binding as a "magnificent exhibition binding in a Moorish motif by Riviere, in blue crushed levant morocco, with a centre panel shaped like an Eastern prayer-rug" (Walpole Galleries, New York, 16 February 1917, lot 29). One of Hazlitt's most desirable and personal works, Liber Amoris is a thinly-veiled account of his unreciprocated infatuation with his landlady's daughter, whose stipple-engraved portrait appears on the title page.
C The Julius and Theodore Cohn Library
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