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HAUGHTON, Moses, the younger (1772 or 1774--1848)
Prospectus of a series of engravings from Milton, Shakspeare, and Dante, after paintings by Henry Fuseli, Esq. R.A. and P.P. by M. Haughton.
[London]: T. Bensley, printer, Bolt Court, [1803?].
[4] p. ; 30.4 cm. (2º)

Broadsheet, folded, conjugate leaf blank. With watermark date '1803'. Haughton's prospectus is probably datable to fairly early in 1803 since on 27 March of that year, when Fuseli forwarded a proof copy to William Roscoe without the 'List, which is not Yet printed off', he added a postscript promising to send the latter on to him at 'the first opportunity' (see The collected English letters of Henry Fuseli, ed. D.H. Weinglass (New York 1982), p. 296). According to Farington, who saw the first two prints of the series ('The Dream of Eve' and 'Lycidas') on 27 February 1803, Haughton had by then taken up lodgings with Fuseli at 13 Berners Street and expected 'to be able to print about four prints in a year' (The diary of Joseph Farington, ed. K. Garlick & A. Macintyre, vol. 6 (1979), p. 2255). Haughton's first concern is to point out differences between his project and a 'somewhat analogous' earlier proposal 'announced at the time the Milton Gallery was preparing for exhibition.' This almost certainly refers to the Proposals dated 'London, Sept. 1, 1791' for 'Engraving by Subscription Thirty Capital Plates From Subjects in Milton To Be Painted Principally, if not Entirely, by Henry Fuseli, R.A.' (copy in the Beinecke Library, Yale), an enterprise associated with William Cowper's intended new edition of Milton's works which was to have been published by Joseph Johnson but was apparently abandoned owing to a recurrence of Cowper's insanity. To give the new undertaking a broader appeal, 'the plan originally intended for Milton only' was now to be 'enlarged for the sake of variety ... to avoid that monotony of imagery which is inseparable from the perpetual recurrence of the few agents in Paradise Lost.' The number of 'Designs or Plates', however, is to be limited to fifty, as compared with the 'upward of sixty' subjects that had been proposed for the Milton Gallery alone. Besides the engraver himself (at No. 13, Berners Street), four printsellers took in subscriptions, viz. 'Johnson in St. Paul's Church-yard; Colnaghi, Cockspur-Street; Richardson, corner of Villiers-Street; and Harris, Sweeting's-Alley.' The prints were to be issued singly or in pairs, small plates at 10s. 6d. each, large at 'very seldom' more than a guinea, and there was no obligation on subscribers 'of persevering in their subscriptions to the whole of the work, ... The Artist [being] too sincere, and at the same time too proud, to exact that which he cannot obtain spontaneously.' Of the forty-eight 'principal Subjects' listed in the prospectus, twenty-six are said to be 'entirely finished' and another thirteen 'in a state of forwardness'. It is clear that these figures must relate to Fuseli's designs rather than to Haughton's prints since ten years later only twelve of the subjects listed had been engraved, not including three that are not listed but clearly belong to the series, viz. 'Friar Puck' (1806), 'Death of Cardinal Beaufort' (1809) and 'The Spirit of Plato' (unpublished). For details of the individual prints see D.H. Weinglass, Prints and engraved illustrations by and after Henry Fuseli: a catalogue raisonné (Aldershot 1994), nos. 174, 178, 179, 188, 226, 260, 263-266, 284--286, 288 and 293. The Soane copy of Haughton's Prospectus appears to be a unique survival and was not known to Professor Weinglass when he compiled his catalogue raisonné.

Copy Notes Originally folded and sealed as a letter, verso of blank leaf inscribed in ink John Soan Esqr. / Lincoln Inn Square. On 5 April 1806 Soane paid Haughton £4 14s. 6d. for five prints from Milton ('Lycidas', 'Dream of Eve', 'Adam resolv'd to share the fate of Eve', 'Dismission from Paradise', and 'Sin pursu'd by Death'). A further receipt relates to a payment from Soane to Fuseli the purchase of 'Milton dictating to his Daughter' for 1 guinea and 'Friar Puck' for 10s. 6d. on 18 December 1806. (Spiers Box, Purchases through personal friends).

Binding Loose bifolium.

Reference Number 2433

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