8vo, 4 volumes (of 6), title page of first volume in red and black, samuel taylor coleridge's copy with a seven-line autograph inscription in ink on the front free endpaper of Volume I and a 20-line autograph inscription in pencil on the rear endpaper of the same volume, signature "S.T. Coleridge" written vertically on title page of volume 4, contemporary vellum, speckled blue edges, covers of volume 1 nearly detached, covers of volume 2 detached, some browning and damp-staining
[together with:] Thummig, Ludwig Philipp. Institutiones Philosophiae Wolfianae in usus Academicos adornate...Frankfurt, 1726, 2 volumes, 8vo, from coleridge's library with his initials "s.t.c." on title page of first volume, contemporary half calf, browned, binding worn, joints split
coleridge's annotated copy of the works of his italian literary ancestor, who anticipated many aspects of romantic poetry and who was one of the chief inspirations for coleridge's greatest poem, "the rime of the ancient mariner". Coleridge's celebrated poem "The Garden of Boccaccio was published in 1829.
Coleridge's note on the endpapers reads: "Deeply interesting -- but observe, p.63. l.33. 35. The holy Book, Ovid's Art of Love! -- This is not the result of mere Immorality. Multum, Multuum Hic jacet sepultum". Coleridge is referring to p.63 of volume 1, lines 33-35, beginning "E. loro, in breve tempo, insegnato a conoscer le lettere, fece leggere il santo libro d'Ovividio, nel quale il sommo poeta mostra, come i santi fuochi di Venere, si debbano ne' freddi cuori, con sollecitudine accendere..." [And having in a short time taught them to read, he made them read the holy book of Ovid, in which the great poet shows how the sacred fires of Venus can speedily be kindled in the coldest hearts].
The note in pencil at the end of volume 1 refers to "P.8. Boccaccio from a sense possibly of poetic justice...reversed the Scheme of the Early Church and the Fathers of the first Centuries...Boccaccio transferred the functions & histories of Hebrew Prophets and Prophetesses and of Christian Saints and Apostles, nay the highest Mysteries & most aweful Objects of Christian Faith, to the names and drapery of Greek & Roman Mythology..."
Coleridge's marginalia here is published by George Whalley in The Collected Works of Samuel Coleridge. Marginalia. I Abbt to Byfield (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980, pp.542-544). Whalley dates the marginalia to c.1808 or later, and records that Coleridge had taken his first steps in Italian , "with the help of the Wordsworths", in November 1802. This "lightly annotated copy of the Opere may have been acquired in the Mediterranean. For C[oleridge]'s general view of Boccaccio see e.g. C[ollected] N[otebooks] III 4388. In September 1814 he tried to interest John Murray in a translation of 'the prose works of Boccaccio, excluding the Decameron'; but receiving no encouragement, he ha abandoned the project by Oct 1815..." (op.cit.) Whalley notes that the marginalia at the end of volume 1 "may have been a direction to himself for a lecture perhaps as late as Feb 1818 (op.cit.).
A note by Ernest Hartly Coleridge, Samuel Taylor's grandson, is loosely inserted in volume 1.
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