CAMPBELL, Thomas Poetical Works

London, Edward Moxon, Dover Street, 1837


FIRST EDITION (except for the ‘Proofs’). Crown 8vo. pp. 306. Signed “Bound by Robert Seton. Bookbinder. Mound. Edinburgh” (see Ramsden, p. 216-17) full red morocco binding, profusely gilt spine and sides, and 3-sided gilt and tooled edges. Sumptuous binding (ca. 1860) and a generally very fine copy, a little foxing to some pages, not affecting printed areas.

With Rogers’ “Italy” and “Poems,” this Campbell edition is his most important book by serving as unacknowledged sources of inspiration to the later French impressionist painters, who could not see Turner’s oils outside England, but who could have acquired copies of these books, stimulating their interest in travelling to London to view Turner’s paintings in the Tate Gallery, as e.g. Monet and Pissarro report in their memoirs and letters.

With 20 steel engraved vignettes after William Turner, engraved by the team of engravers trained under his supervision. “Campbell’s text had a special significance for [Turner] – and Turner took endless pains in the control of his engravers; on this small scale, he evolved formal ideas which he worked out more ambitiously in the oils of his last years” (G. Reynolds, Turner, p. 157-8). “Perhaps the most remarkable of all has been the neglect of Turner as a book illustrator” (Muir, p. xiii).

Not in Lowndes. Rawlinson, 613-633.
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