London: Printed by J. Cundee…for T. Hurst, 1802. First Evans edition (Reverend John Evans, Baptist minister, 1767-1827) notable for its color-printed illustrations. Illustrated with stipple-printed color frontisportrait of Thomson, four color plates, and four color vignette part-titles with engraved text. Binding extremities slightly worn, boards have minor scuffing. Less than ” worn away from foot of spine with thread showing and loose. Plates have a bit of foxing. slight offsetting from plates, minor offsetting to edges of endpapers. A very good copy. Contemporary tree calf, boards decorated with gilt key pattern borders, gilt spine with gilt-lettered green morocco label. Gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers. Edges sprinkled green. Small octavo. . xxxii, 213, [3, publisher’s ads] pp. Item #16501
During this period, color stipple-printed illustrations were not very common given the high cost involved in producing such works; however, Thomas Hurst is known to have published a number of titles, both in colored and uncolored states, the latter naturally more expensive and now quite rare. Some of these titles are referred to in the advertisements at the end of this copy. The Evans edition also includes a “Life of the Author,” his original headings, and new illustrations in a “pastoral” style employed by William Cooke, Cranmer, Thurston, and Varley, the hay-making scene attributed to the latter; this style was derived in part from popular editions of Bloomfield’s Farmer’s Boy. The text is from the revised edition of 1744, which was enlarged to include more georgic material, tropical topics (fruit, beasts, sandstorms, plagues) in addition to small improvements to the poem’s precision.