Wharton, Richard, Esq. M.P.
Title FABLES: CONSISTING OF SELECT PARTS FROM DANTE, BERNI, CHAUCER, AND ARIOSTO. IMITATED IN ENGLISH HEROIC VERSE.
Publisher London: Printed by T. Bensley . . . for Payne and Mackinlay, 1804.
Seller ID 317
8vo. 199 pp. Inscribed by the author and with the bookplate of Peter Isaac. Gray, paper-covered boards with parchment spine. Corners bumped, gray paper worn away at bottom corners. Else very good.Though Henry Francis Cary was the first to translate the entire Divine Comedy into English, several English authors translated various cantos of the work into their native tongue prior to him. According to ESTC, the first such partial translation of Dante's poetry into English appeared in 1773. Wharton's 1804 translation of cantos 3 (the description of the entrance to Hell), 32 and 33 (the story of Ugolino, a traitor at the lowest depth of Hell) into English Heroic Verse is one several early appearances of Dante in English. The three cantos translated in this work are among the best known scenes in Inferno.Fables renders select parts of Dante's well-known terze rime in English Heroic verse, imitating the style of English poet, dramatist, and critic, John Dryden. This book, offering selections from several major literary works, is an interesting example of the skimmed milk that was served up to the eighteenth century reader as an example of Dante's poetry. It is best appreciated when compared with the later, complete, and (arguably) more competent translations such as Cary's and Longfellow's.Scarce. ABPC locates no copy offered at auction in the past 30 years. OCLC locates but 2 copies.