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BYRON, George Gordon Byron, Baron (1788--1824)
[Don Juan. Cantos I--II]
Don Juan.
London:, printed by Thomas Davison,, 1819.
[4], 227, [1] p. ; 29.8 cm. (4º)

Anonymous. By Lord Byron. First edition in the quarto issue. Byron's publisher, John Murray, was initially reluctant to print the provocative "epic satire", the major work of the last five years of the poet's life, and withheld his name from the title-page out of fear of prosecution, but in so doing made himself and the author vulnerable to piracies. Murray again withheld his name from the second installment (cantos III to V, q.v.) when it was published later in the same year, and finally judged the subsequent cantos so outrageous that he refused to print them and passed them to another publisher, John Hunt, who brought out cantos VI through XVI in four installments in 1823--24. Byron was working on a seventeenth canto at the time of his premature death. On the publication history of Don Juan, see Hugh J. Luke, Jr., 'The publishing of Byron's Don Juan', PMLA, 80:3 (June 1965), pp. 199--209; Leslie A. Marchand, 'John Hunt as Byron's publisher', Keats-Shelley Journal, 8:2 (Autumn, 1959), pp. 119--132.

Copy Notes A copy of 'Don Juan, Canto 2' was bought from James Moyes for 7s. 6d., 14 May 1822. (Priv. Corr. XVI.E.4.1; Spiers Box, Purchases through personal friends).

Binding C19th grey paper boards with printed paper spine-label reading 'Don Juan / £1. 11s. 6d.', later grey paper spine-covering.

Reference Number 701

Additional Names Moyes, James (1779--1838); Don Juan (Legendary character), Poetry

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