Le Opere di Orazio Flacco Recate in versi italiani da Tommaso Gargallo

By: Horace ; Quintus Horatius Flaccus ; translated by Tommaso Gargalloataaa

Price: $374.95

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good+


304; 429 pages; Two volumes, bound in contemporary half vellum over pattern-printed paper covered boards, flat spines with leather labels in red and black, lettered in gilt. Bindings display just a touch of light soiling, but a handsome, tight and clean set. This charming 1827 first edition of Tommaso Gargallo's esteemed translation of Horace from Latin into modern Italian has a most interesting provenance: it was the property of two generations of one of the leading families of the American Abolitionist movement -- the son and grandson of Samuel J. May. There are ownership signatures in each volume: "Joseph May / Roma / June 1898." Joseph May, the son of the Rev. Samuel Joseph May and Lucretia Flagg Coffin May, was born in Boston on January 21, 1836. By that time, his father, Samuel J. May, had achieved a position among the religious and intellectual leaders of New England. He played an unintended but significant role in American literature by extending friendship to Bronson Alcott, with whom he shared an interest in eduational reform. May invited this charming young philosopher for an extended visit to his household in Brooklyn, Connecticut -- where May introduced Alcott to his sister Abigail. Bronson married Abigail May in 1830 -- Louisa May Alcott, the author of 'Little Women,' was their daughter -- (and thus, a first cousin to Joseph May, the owner of these two volumes). Samuel J. May and his family provided support to his sister and her Alcott children for many years, as Bronson Alcott proved to be a deficient provider of necessities for his family, charming and interesting as he may have been in other respects. About the time of the fateful May-Alcott union, the Rev. May had a personal transformation when he encountered William Lloyd Garrison. May always had a tendency to find slavery wrong and regretable, but upon hearing Garrison speak, he became a convert to the radical point of view -- that slavery must be abolished immediately. He worked with Garrison for two difficult years to form the New England Anti-Slavery Society. May's freedom from racial prejudice was rare in his time, even among abolitionists. "It is our own prejudice against the color of these poor people that makes us consent to the tremendous wrongs they are suffering," he preached to his congregatation in Brooklyn -- (were, in the face of opposition, he had introduced interracial seating in his church). The struggle against slavery became more and more intense. On October 21, 1835, the same day that Garrison was dragged through Boston by anti-abolitionist rioters, May was mobbed as he attempted to speak in Montpelier, Vermont. After the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, May's abolitionist activity increased. He personally transported escaped slaves along the underground railroad. To confirm that living conditions were satisfactory for those sent north, he toured settlements in Canada. By that time, Samuel J. May had moved his pulpit to the Church of the Messiah in Syracuse, New York. In that position, his longest ministry, he came to understand the plight of women as not entirely dis-similar to that of blacks. In his seminal address, the 'Rights and Condition of Women,' 1846, he asked why "half of the people have a right to govern the whole." He became a familiar figure in the conventions and committees of the early women's rights movement, working closely with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. (May and Susan B. Anthony were burned together in effigy in 1861, by an angry mob which managed to shut down a major anti-slavery rally at which the pair were scheduled to speak). All this activity and strife caused a break in May's health. Well-to-do supporters in Boston paid for May to take an extended trip in Europe during 1858-59. This vacation afforded him opportunities to view the Vatican during Holy Week, and also to speak from English pulpits. He was accompanied to Europe by his son Joseph, who was taking a break in his studies after receiving his AB from Harvard in 1857. Following several years in Europe, Joseph May entered Harvard Divinity School and graduated in 1865. After a decade serving in his first two appointments -- (the First Unitarian Church in Yonkers, N.Y. and then the First Religious Society of Newburyport, Massachusetts) -- In January 1876, Joseph May became minister of the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia, which he served for 25 years. After Joseph May's retirement, he became pastor emeritus until his death on January 19, 1918. He was a strong supporter of education for African Americans throughout his life. In the same year he acquired this handsome set of Horace in Rome, Joseph published a memorial to his famous father on what would have been the great abolitionist's 100 birthday: ["Samuel Joseph May: a Memorial Study." Boston, G.H. Ellis, 1898]. Joseph May presented these volumes to his son, William Roper May, the following year. There are ink inscriptions on each front free-endpaper: "Wm Roper May / aet XXV / January 16, 1899 / With dearest love of J. M." Even in the naming of this grandson of Samuel J. May, Joseph May demonstrated his family's long-term and continuing connection with the emancipation, education and welfare of slaves and former slaves. Wm. Roper May, to whom this set was presented, gets his middle name in honor of Moses Roper, an escaped slave who met Samuel J. May along with Garrison and other leading abolitionists in Boston in the 1830's. Roper's autobiographical account became one of the earliest and most popular of the so-called "Slave Narratives" [with ten editions published between 1836 and the Emancipation]. Laid in to this set by Joseph May is a silver-print photographic portrait of the aged Pope Leo XIII in post card form. On the recto, at the bottom of the image, May has neatly written the inscription in ink: "A lover of Horace." -- on the verso of this photographic card, May has inscribed his reasons: "I have put this card into my Horace, with the same inscription. Two or three days before his death, his valet found him reading -- the Bible, he thought, of course! But it was Horace. That touch of human nature - & of culture - makes me like him." The writing on this card resembles Joseph May's... but Pope Leo XIII died in July of 1903 at age 93 -- at which time this set was presumably the property of William Roper May. In any case, a touching token of respect for a Catholic Pope from one of the great familes of American Unitarianism, written by Joseph May, who had first seen the Vatican at his own father's side, forty years before.

Title: Le Opere di Orazio Flacco Recate in versi italiani da Tommaso Gargallo

Author Name: Horace ; Quintus Horatius Flaccus ; translated by Tommaso Gargalloataaa

Categories: Literature, Classical Studies, Antiquarian Books, 19th Century, Italian Language and Literature, Literature in Translation,

Edition: First Edition Thus

Publisher: Como, figli di Carlantonio Ostinelli: 1827

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good+

Size: 16mo

Seller ID: 41494

Keywords: Abolition of Slavery Samuel J. May Joseph May William Roper May Unitarian Pope Leo XIII