The Iliad of Homer Rendered into English Blank Verse by Edward Earl of Derby (Two Volumes). Homer, 14th Earl of Derby Edward Smith-Stanley, Trans.

The Iliad of Homer Rendered into English Blank Verse by Edward Earl of Derby (Two Volumes)

Very Good. Item #5941

New York: Charles Scribner & Company, 1868. "Third Edition, from the Fifth Revised English Edition." Octavo; Vol I [xvi] + 430pp; Vol II 457pp. Brown pebbled publisher's cloth with gold lettering and rules on spine crowns and feet; bust of Homer stamped in gold on front panels; same image blind-stamped on rear panels; beveled edges on all panels. Coated endpapers in standard Victorian brown.

Cloth scuffed in spots; spine crowns and feet nudged and slightly frayed. A previous owner's small bookplate torn from front pastedowns of both volumes; white paper remnants still in place. Early owner's signature in pencil dated 1879 on dedicatory page of Vol. I: that owner was John S. McCalmont (1822-1906), Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1850. Textblock is tight and square with only a few faint vertical lines in pencil to designate notable passages.

The Earl of Derby's Iliad translation of 1864 was widely distributed in the United States and, though appreciated for its accuracy, has been neglected somewhat unfairly for a certain ploddingness in its blank iambic pentameter. Judge for yourself against Fitzgerald's 1974 rendering of Achilles' lament in Book 24. Fitzgerald: "Down by the ships Patróklos’ body lies / unwept, unburied. I shall not forget him / while I can keep my feet among the living." The Earl of Derby, a century earlier: "Beside the ships, unwept, unburied, lies / Patroclus: whom I never can forget, / While number’d with the living, and my limbs / Have pow’r to move." Not too shoddy.

Price: $50.00