Publisher: [London: Printed by Thomas Davison for the author, 1816].
Edition: First edition, privately printed in an edition of 50 copies, of which about 14 are known to survive.
Bibliographical References: Randolph, Studies for a Byron Bibliography, page 119; Tinker 552; Wise, Byron, page 50 (“practically impossible to acquire”); NCBEL III, 282.
Condition: First leaf torn and neatly repaired without loss to text (but touching the final three lines on the first page); a few carefully repaired tears to the outer margins; very good copy, enclosed in a quarter morocco clamshell box.
Book ID: 26611
DescriptionSingle bifolium, four 25 x 19 cm (9.75 x 7.75 inches) pages, text on pages 1-3; page 4 is blank. With the watermark “J. Green/1815.”
CommentsThe first edition of one of the iconic poems of the Romantic era, written by Byron upon the tearful breakup of his marriage to Annabella Milbanke and just before he left England, never to return. On April 3, 1816 Byron sent the manuscript to printer Thomas Davison with a hurriedly written note, instructing him to print 50 copies on quarto paper (see Tinker 492). Surviving copies are recorded at the British Library, National Library of Scotland; Leeds; NYPL; Huntington; Beinecke; Illinois; Princeton; and the John Murray Archive; the locations are not recorded (though could be one of those listed above) for the five copies which have sold at auction in the past 50 years.