Reading: not for Publication, 1847 [but actually London ca. 1893].
Wise forgery. 47,  pp., with half-title. 8vo. Dark green crushed morocco, titled in gilt on front cover, gilt edges and turn-ins, t.e.g., the rest uncut, by Riviere & Son. Light wear to joints. Near fine. Barnes B2; Carter and Pollard, p. 8 et passim (with census recording 36 copies). Item #313228
The most infamous Wise forgery, purporting to be the first edition of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese. John Carter and Graham Pollard's exhaustive investigation, presented in their Enquiry into the Nature of Certain Nineteenth Century Pamphlets (1934), proved by way of internal evidence (paper composition and type faces) and external evidence (lack of presentation copies or evidence of contemporary ownership in any known copies) that this was indeed a forgery. "Of this group [of suspected forgeries] the Reading Sonnets was undoubtedly the star piece. It was the most important, both as literature and as a human document of wide sentimental appeal: it was by far the highest priced: and it was the most amply and authoritatively documented" (Carter and Pollard, p. 6). The true first appearance of Sonnets from the Portuguese appeared in the second edition of the poet's collected Poems (1850).
Price: $7,500.00 Free International Delivery