Birmingham: Baskerville, 1773. Four octavo volumes: , lviii, 362, ; , 450, ; , 446, ; , 446 . Contemporary full tree calf, Greek key border and floral cornerpieces in gilt to boards, raised bands, spine compartments ruled and patterned in gilt, red and black morocco spine labels lettered in gilt, gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers. Copperplate frontispiece of Ariosto and forty-six engraved plates. Associati and Errata bound before Vita in Volume I (all present). Bookplates of Francis Broderip and Irwin Laughlin to pastedowns. Light shelfwear to boards, expert repair to joints and corners, some foxing to text.
First edition of the Baskerville Ariosto, octavo issue, with forty-six engraved plates. Set during the Saracen invasion of France, Orlando Furioso (1516-1532) follows the adventures of Charlemagne’s high-strung knight Orlando, who goes mad for love. Ariosto’s comic epic was hugely influential, going on to inspire works as various as The Faerie Queene, Much Ado About Nothing, Don Quixote, and Don Juan. Gaskell 48. Text in Italian. A very good set, in handsome contemporary bindings.