New Arrival

Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul.

London: W. Pickering … and W. Newbery, 1839.

Price: $33,000.00


About the item

First letterpress edition, issue without “The Little Vagabond”. xxi, [iii], 74 pp. 1 vols. 8vo. Full green morocco gilt. Fine copy. Circular gilt vellum label of William Twopeny. Keynes 135; Bentley & Nurmi 161B; Bentley, Blake Books, 171.

Item #368615

The first letterpress edition of Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, preceded only by the small number of copies of the illuminated first edition engraved and colored by Blake. With a laudatory Preface by the Swedenborgian James John Garth Wilkinson (1812-99), who edited and arranged the present volume for publication. Wilkinson worked from Charles Augustus Tulk's copy of the illuminated first edition (c.1795-1807); Tulk had previously lent his copy to Coleridge. The work appears in two issues, with or without a poem entitled “The Little Vagabound”, at page 71, which was supposedly canceled by the editor out of prudishness. No priority has been established
Both issues appear with about equal frequency, which is to say, not often.