Timeless Tales Rare Books

Timeless Tales Rare Books


Queen Mab


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About this Book

Shelley, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822). Queen Mab. London: W. Clark, 1821.
8vo. Several leaves watermarked “1820” or “A”. (Contents washed.) Fine binding; Late 19th-century half calf gilt, spine in 6 compartments with raised bands, morocco lettering-pieces gilt in 2, others gilt tooled, edges gilt, stamp-signed by Morrell; folding case. Provenance: Conon Williams (armorial bookplate); Myers & Co. of London (booksellers’ ticket).

PIRATED FIRST EDITION (the first published), thin paper copy, issued without the dedication to Harriet *****. Queen Mab was first privately printed in 1813 and was relatively unknown until this pirated edition of 1821, printed by R. Clark, was published which precedes the first authorized edition that was composed of the remaining sheets from Clark’s edition and issued with a new title-page by Carlile in 1822. When Shelley learned of Clark’s unauthorized edition, he protested the piracy; Clark appeared before the Court of King’s Bench on 23 June and pleaded not guilty to publishing an “indecent, immoral and scandalous poem.” According to George Goodspeed, “His trial did not take place until late in the following year, but the book appears to have been suppressed, nominally at least, very soon after its publication” (See The Colophon, New Graphic Series, No. 1, pp.25-32, 1939). Ashley V., p.150.


Bibliographic Details

Title: Queen Mab

Publisher: Printed and Published by W. Clark

Publication Date: 1821

Binding: Hardcover, fine binding

Condition: Near Fine

Edition: First Pirated edition, first thus


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Queen Mab