London: Jacob Tonson, 1709. Third edition. Hardcover. 3 vol. 8vo. , 2-211, ; , 213-545, ; 549-857,  pp. Half later (late nineteenth-century) calf over marbled boards, spines in six compartments, ruled in gilt, each spine with a black morocco label lettered in gilt. Title pages printed in red and black. Volume one illustrated by a frontispiece of Virgil's bust and thirty-one additional engraved plates; volume two with a frontis portrait of a young Dryden and thirty-nine additional engraved plates; volume three with a frontis portrait of an old Dryden with thirty-one additional engraved plates. Plates depict scenes from the Georgics and the Aeneid, with famous characters like Dido, the Trojan Horse, Anchises and his funeral games, Juno, Juno's furies, Venus, Poseidon, and others well-represented by these beautiful and detailed illustrations. Brueggemann 554. Smith 277. Tonson's illustrated edition was first published in 1697. This is the third edition, illustrated by 104 plates. Smith writes that "Pope characterized this most famous version as "the most noble and spirited translation that I know in any language", while Dr. Johnson said that "it satisfied his friends and silenced his enemies"", and refers to a quote from J. Conington's Miscellaneous Writings: "England ... is to be congratulated on the possession of one really fine poem ... which constitutes the essence of all poetry, ancient or modern ... in which most of the thoughts are Virgil's, and most of the language Dryden's". Dryden's translation of Virgil is famous for its ability to make accessible to English readers the spirit of Latin epic, and conveys well to the reader the beauty of Virgil's word choice and style. A handsome set of a significant classical translation, wonderfully enhanced by its illustrations. Very Good. Item #00009463
A Very Good set with minor wear to the boards; volume one's title page shows a 1/2" trim to its top margin (not affecting the text) and a contemporary name, occasional age darkening to the leaves.