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OEDIPUS by  and NATHANIEL LEE  JOHN - FIRST EDITION - 1679 - from Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts (SKU: ST15024e)


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This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
McMinnville, Oregon
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About This Item

London: Printed for R. Bentley and M. Magnes, 1679. FIRST EDITION. 208 x 150 mm. (8 1/8 x 6"). 4 p.l., 78 pp., [1] leaf (epilogue).
19th century half vellum and marbled boards, smooth spine, black label with gilt lettering. Macdonald 83a; Wing D-2322; ESTC R22022. Vellum slightly spotty and soiled, boards with a hint of chafing and one or two minor imperfections, but the binding completely sound and with attractive marbling; light dampstain across preliminary leaves, top and bottom margins trimmed rather close, occasionally cutting into the running title and with most catchwords and signatures affected, the final line or two of text on a dozen or so leaves either partially or completely cut away, other very minor imperfections, but the contents surprisingly clean and bright throughout.

An imitation of Sophocles' classic tragedy "Oedipus Rex," this work, adapted to the tastes of Restoration audiences, enjoyed immense success and became the preferred version performed on English stages well into the 18th century. In addition to Sophocles, co-writers Dryden (1631-1700) and Lee (1649?-92) also consulted re-tellings of "Oedipus" by Seneca and contemporary French playwright Pierre Corneille to inform their own work, making several important changes to the traditional plotline: a new romantic subplot is introduced, the character Creon takes on the role of the villain, and, most dramatically of all, the play ends with the slaughter of just about every character--either by murder or suicide. Copies of our first edition of this work are rare on the market: in RBH and ABPC we could trace just one copy listed at auction in the last 35 years..


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Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts US (US)
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Printed for R. Bentley and M. Magnes
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Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts

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About the Seller

Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since 2006
McMinnville, Oregon
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About Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts

Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books an Manuscripts was established in 1978 on a ping pong table in a basement in Kalamazoo, Michigan. From the beginning, its founder was willing to sell a range of material, but over the years, the business has gravitated toward historical artifacts that are physically attractive in some way--illuminated material, fine bindings, books printed on vellum, fore-edge paintings, beautiful typography and paper, impressive illustration. Today, the company still sells a wide range of things, from (scruffy) ninth century leaves to biblical material from all periods to Wing and STC imprints to modern private press books to artists' bindings. While we are forgiving about condition when something is of considerable rarity, we always try to obtain the most attractive copies possible of whatever we offer for sale.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf.... [More]
Marbled boards
... [More]
Generally refers to minor discoloration or staining.
Vellum is a sheet of specialty prepared skin of lamb, calf, or goat kid used for binding a book or for printing and writing. ... [More]
Very generally, "leaves" refers to the pages of a book, as in the common phrase, "loose-leaf pages." A leaf is a single sheet... [More]
A new book is a book previously not circulated to a buyer. Although a new book is typically free of any faults or defects, "new"... [More]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in... [More]
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in... [More]