London: Printed for N.T. Longman and O. Rees, By G. Woodfall, 1800.
First edition of Coleridge's English translation. Engraved portrait. [iv], 214; [ii], [ii, general title], 157, [1, ads] pp., with half-title to first part and general title ("Wallenstein. A Drama in Two Parts") bound with second part. 8vo. Period half calf and marbled boards, green morocco spine label. Some foxing to portrait and first few leaves ESTC T61110 & T61109; Wise, Coleridge 16 & 17. Item #307974
The first English edition of Schiller’s Wallenstein, set in Germany during the Thirty Years War, and translated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge from a manuscript copy of the first German edition of 1799. Coleridge completed much of the translation — a free and poetic translation in blank verse — at Lamb's home in London,, seated at his desk in "a voluminous five-penny floral dressing-gown decorated with hieroglyphics … looking suspiciously 'like a conjuror,' according to Lamb" (Holmes, Coleridge: Early Visions, p. 261). The translation, which omitted the first part of Schiller's trilogy (Wallenstein's Camp), was done in part to capitalize on the contemporary fashion for Schiller, whose verse-drama The Robbers Coleridge had long admired. It was one of many of Coleridge's translation schemes hatched during his time abroad studying the language and literature of Germany. "In the event, the project was a financial disaster, earning him only £50 in advances, while Longman lost £250 on the combined editions" (ibid, p. 267). Despite that, Coleridge "was proud of his work, and long afterwards described it as 'a specimen of my happiest attempt, during the prime manhood of my intellect, before I had been buffeted by adversity or crossed by fatality" (ibid, p. 268).
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