London: Printed for A. Bettesworth, and J. Battley in Pater-Noster Row, J. Pemberton in Fleetstreet, and E. Curll in the Strand, 1721. Second Edition. 8vo, ,x, [5, dedication], [2, engraved plate], 1-235, [blank leaf]; full contemporary diced Russia gilt, a.e.g. With two engraved portraits of Pope tipped in at the front; a manuscript page with a clipped signature of Pope affixed is tipped in between pp. 18-19. Front cover detached; lower portion of backstrip missing; some spots and marks; collectors' notes in ink to two preliminary leaves; extensive marginal ink annotations throughout, some trimmed by the binder. Item #206082
A significant book from the collection Mark Masterman-Sykes, with his gilt arms on front and rear boards. The book contains ink annotations throughout appearing on 62 pages and attributed to Alexander Pope. The tipped-in manuscript page was provided for comparison. In the catalogues for the sale of the Sykes collection (1824) and subsequently the collection of Richard Heber (1835) where the book appeared, the annotations were ascribed to Pope. The book was later sold at Sotheby's (1970) and Swann Galleries (1976). The Sotheby's catalogue describes a further autograph item, namely an autograph receipt to John Fownes, signed by Pope, for a subscription to Pope's translation of Homer. Remnants of paper remain where this item was once attached. It became separated from the book at some point and later turned up inserted into to a set of Pope's Homer sold by Bauman Rare Books in New York. The annotations are copious and show an actively engaged reader. An early owner's inscription facing the title page, possibly in Sykes's hand, reads: "This book belonged to Alexander Pope, with whose hand writing this book abounds." A baronet and member of parliament from York, Mark Masterman-Sykes was well known in his time as a bibliophile.