Titi Lucretii Cari De Rerum Natura Libri Sex.
In aedibus Ricardi Taylor.
FIRST EDITION. Small Folio. 12 x 9.75 inches. 295 pp. + [1 pp.]. All text in Latin. Bound in original calf, boards with decorative blind stamped and gilt borders; Recently rebacked with original spine, decorated gilt, with gilt titles. Marbled endpapers. All edges marbled. Extremities worn, some foxing of flyleaves and occasional spotting elsewhere, but otherwise a very good copy. 1824 gift inscription signed by Head Master of Eton College on verso of first free endpaper. Decorated by publishers device in the title page and as colophon on last leaf. Written in six books in Latin hexameter verse. Its subject treats firstly of the world of atoms, secondly of the human soul and thirdly with the cosmos as a whole, each topic being covered by a pair of books. Little is known of the life of Titus Lucretius Carus (c.90s BC-c.50s BC) and this is his only surviving work. A fine copy lavishly printed in a large fount with wide margins, by the well known printer Richard Taylor (1781-1858). According to the Oxford DNB article, Taylor first used the Roman lamp and Latin motto (see colophon) in 1815, but this first edition is certainly dated 1813. The title was commissioned by Dr John Keate (1773-1852), the notorious Headmaster of Eton from 1809-34, as a school prize, and this copy was signed by him in 1824. Later printings appeared in the 1830s.
[Stock No. 27060]