JUVENAL (Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis)
[BYRON] The Satires, Translated and illustrated by Francis Hodgson.
London : T. Bensley, 1807. Quarto, in a handsome contemporary russia binding with heavy sides for subscriber Thomas Wildman, boards with ornate blind tooling ruled in gilt, the upper board with the coat-of-arms of Newstead Abbey (Byron’s ancestral home) stamped in gilt, spine gilt with double raised bands, marbled edges and endpapers, armorial bookplate of George Wildman to front pastedown, pp  (blank),  (title leaf),  dedication leaf,  list of subscribers, i-xxxii (Preface), xxxiii-xxxix (Prologue),  (blank), 572,  (blank); errata slip bound in at page 572; joints neatly repaired, very occasional light foxing, else contents clean and crisp.
A superb subscriber’s copy with an association to Lord Byron.
The subscriber, Thomas Wildman, was the wealthy heir to Jamaican plantations. He had been a friend of Byron at Harrow and, in 1818, while Byron was in exile in Italy, Wildman purchased the Byron ancestral home, Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire, for £94,500, in so doing easing the poet and romantic adventurer’s financial woes. Wildman spent a small fortune restoring Newstead, a place so special to Byron that the poet had made it clear before leaving England for the last time that he wished to be buried there in the family vault, near his dog, Boatswain. In homage to his friend, Wildman assembled a notable collection of Byron memorabilia.
This is the first edition of Hodgson’s verse translation of Juvenal’s Satires. Byron apparently regarded it highly, and is quoted by Lowndes as remarking that it is a translation ‘displaying unquestionable genius’ (William Thomas Lowndes. The bibliographer’s manual of English literature …, London : Pickering, 1834, p. 1054).