London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1842. Small quarto. xlviii, 320pp. Enriched throughout with engravings that bring both pastoral and romantic themes to bear on Thomson's celebrated poetic cycle. Completed by some of the most eminent illustrators and artists of the era, including John Bell, Thomas Crewsick, and Thomas Webster, the engraved scenes embrace both naturalism and spiritualism, pairing rustic celebrations with field work, cozy homesteads with wintry bleakness, transcendent beauty with comfortable realism. In this duality, the illustrations do justice to Thomson's poetry. Thomson harnessed John Milton's then-innovative use of blank verse to speak directly not of supernatural events, but of the everyday courses of natural phenomena, offering it both elevation and democratization.
Bound by Fazakerley in covers befitting the romance and wonder of the book's content. The full navy morocco binding is elaborately decorated with gilt-tooled flora and fauna - a heron and rabbit - at the upper cover, with additional gilt and natural morocco inlays as borders, rules, and hearts on both covers and spine. Solid gilt roll to edges. Turn-ins decorated in further gilt and natural morocco inlays, echoing the covers. A.e.g. Fazakerley is likewise responsible for the gauffering to edges and the fore-edge design depicting three scenes from the book: a sunset on a lake, an abbey and cottage, and a view over water of a country estate. A few light abrasions to upper cover and expected shelf-rubbing to lower edge as well as inconsequential rubbing to hinges, otherwise near fine. Item #30821