Early Editions

Early Editions

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Excerpt from Early Editions: A Bibliographical Survey of the Works of Some Popular Modern Authors

If there be a fashion in acquisitiveness, there is little doubt that books of the kind mentioned in the following pages are collected mainly in accordance with its dictates. Early in the century it was the classics - Latin or Greek - and other scholarly volumes that chiefly attracted the book-man, just as in remoter times the ponderous commentaries of the Fathers held almost undisputed sway over his fancy.

To say why a man should delight in accumulating books, would be no more difficult than to assign a reason for any other preference, foolish or the reverse, that he might have; but why first or early editions should be accounted more desirable than later ones, is not always so easy to explain. A late edition may, and in some cases should, be more complete than an earlier one; the errors in the first may be corrected in the second; additions, in the form of notes or otherwise, may have been made; yet notwithstanding these advantages it not unfrequently happens that the comparatively imperfect edition is the more sought after of the two. Legitimately speaking, its value should be confined to the opportunity of comparison afforded to the student, enabling him to note textual differences, and thus, as it were, to follow the author through the maze of his thoughts and the development of his genius.

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This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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