THE TRAVELS OF MR. JOHN GULLIVER, SON TO CAPT. LEMUEL GULLIVER. Translated from the French, by J. Lockman. London: Printed for Sam. Harding, at the Bible and Anchor, on the Pavement in St. Martin's-Lane, 1731. Small octavo, two volumes: pp. [1-6] i-iv 1-10 i-vi 1-212; [1-2] i-iv 1-198; collates A5; a8, B-I8; K-O8; P2; A3, A-I8; K-M8, N3, rebound to style in modern quarter leather and marbled boards by the Dragonfly Bindery. First edition in English. The French original of Desfontaines' LE NOUVEAU GULLIVER OU VOYAGE DE JEAN GULLIVER, FILS DU CAPITAINE GULLIVER, Traduit d'un Manuscrit Anglois par Monsieur L. D. F., was published in 1730, three years after he had translated Swift's TRAVELS into French. His sequel was quite popular, going through three editions the year of its publication. Besides being translated into English, JEAN GULLIVER was translated into Dutch, German (three times in 1731) and Portuguese. In his preface, Desfontaines discarded the fiction of his work being a translation and defended himself against the charge of exploiting the success of Swift's work. He pointed to the originality of his adventures in their settings and morals. "… the reader will be convey'd into one country where the fair sex have the superiority; a second whose men soon grow old, and enjoy but a very short life; a third whose inhabitants, tho' superlatively deform'd and ugly, do nevertheless appear handsome in the eyes of their countrymen; lastly, another whose natives are indulg'd a long life, and the advantage of returning to the bloom of youth, when they have attain'd to half their years." Lockman, the work's English translator, defends French literature, which is "look'd upon as light, wordy, as 'tis term'd, and consequently uninform'd with the manly sense of our English writers." He blames this bad reputation on poor translations, "bad Versions" in which "their words only are translated." He points out that if a painter were to "copy a Raphael or a Titian; 'tis certain that the grace, the spirit and fire of the originals would be entirely lost in their performances." He goes on to defend imaginative literature in general. "I cannot but take notice of the contempt in which Romances in general are had, (and consequently the writers of them,) tho' the moral be ever so excellent, by multitudes of persons, merely because they are fictitious." Attacks on imaginative literature in Western culture go back to Plato, and defenses follow, the most famous in English being Sir Philip Sidney's Defense of Poesy in 1595. A scholarly edition of JOHN GULLIVER appeared in 1971. Fortunati and Trousson (eds), Dictionary of Literary Utopias, pp. 466-7. Gibson and Patrick, "Utopias and Dystopias, 1500-1750" in Gibson, St. Thomas More: A Preliminary Bibliography (1961) 664. Gove, The Imaginary Voyage in Prose Fiction, pp. 277-78. Howgego, Encyclopedia of Exploration: Invented and Apocryphal Narrative of Travel D16. Negley, Utopian Literature: A Bibliography 275. Versins, Encyclopédie de l'Utopie, des Voyages Extraordinaires et de la Science Fiction, p. 240. Bloch (2002) 721. Reginald 04246. Not in Bleiler (1948; 1978). Lacks the frontispiece. Text blocks clean throughout, a very good copy. (#153243).
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