KEATS, JOHN | Poems. London: C. & J. Ollier, 1817
POEMS. LONDON: C. & J. OLLIER, 1817
16mo (6 7/8 x 4 1/8 in.; 174 x 104 mm). Half-title, title-page with woodcut vignette portrait of Spenser, printed on wove paper watermarked John Dickson 1813; B2 and B3 loose. Original brown boards, paper label to spine; joints weak, rubbed, minor soiling, label renewed. Brown morocco clamshell case.
First edition, in original boards, of Keats's first volume of poetry
Scathing reviews depressed sales of this work, and despite the publishers' initial enthusiasm, the Olliers soon regretted that the young Keats had attracted their interest. When Keats's brother George accused the publishers of failing to promote the book, James Ollier coldly replied: "We regret that your brother ever requested us to publish his book, or that our opinion of its talent should have led us to acquiesce in undertaking it …. By far the greater number of Persons who have purchased it from us have found fault with it in such plain terms, that we have in many cases offer'd to take the book back rather than be annoyed with the ridicule which has, time after time, been shower'd on it." Taylor and Hessey published Keats's only other two volumes of poetry.
Ashley 3:9; Hayward 231; MacGillivray A.1; Sterling 521
R. Corner Bookseller (bookseller ticket to front pastedown) — William Painter (booklabel to front pastedown)
Condition as described in catalogue entry.
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