London: Printed for Sam. Briscoe, and sold by J. Woodward, 1710-1711. Four octavo volumes, measuring 7.5 x 4.5 inches: , 346, , 347,  (table of contents bound between pages 346 and 347); , 1-88, 359-403, 406, 404, 406-479, 488-489, 482-501, 542, 503-610, 607, 612-642, ; , 1-237, 240, , 241-258, 295, 260-344, 445, 346-399, 200, 401-421, 122, 423-488; , 1-59, 90, 61-238, , 141-323, . Text complete and continuous despite pagination. Contemporary paneled calf with cat’s-paw decoration to boards, raised bands, tan morocco spine labels lettered in gilt, all edges speckled red. Engraved frontispiece and additional engraved title in Volume I. Expert repair to joints of Volumes I and IV; worming to lower margin of last few leaves of Volume II; dampstaining to first few leaves of Volume III.
First edition of this English collection of the works of the Greco-Syrian satirist Lucian, the product of nearly twenty years of effort by more than two dozen translators, with an introductory essay by John Dryden. A talented rhetorician, Lucian traveled widely through the Roman Empire in the second century, establishing himself as a speaker before turning to the satires that would make his name. Of particular interest to modern readers is Lucian’s comic novel, A True Story (included in Volume III of this set), a foundational work of science fiction that imagines space travel and encounters with alien civilizations: “we discover’d a great Land in the Sky, like a shining island, round and bright, where we arriv’d, and coming into a convenient Harbour, went ashore, and soon found it to be inhabited.” Thomas More and Jonathan Swift, among others, would directly rework elements of Lucian's interplanetary fantasy. ESTC T112839; Lowndes IV, 1409. A very good set in handsome contemporary bindings.