Homeric Synchronism: An Enquiry into the Time and Place of HomerGLADSTONE, Right Hon. W.E.
London: Macmillan and Co.. 1876.
Proof copy from 1875 with Gladstone's own extensive manuscript corrections. 8vo (200x135mm). pp. [iv], vi, 7-284 (pp. 59/60 printed twice). Between E7 and E8 (pp. 63/64) a page has been tipped in with two paragraphs in Gladstone's hand. These additional paragraphs appear on p.62 of the first edition. The half title and title page in the preliminaries have the draft title The Time and Place of Homer on the half title and The Time and Place of Homer or A Contribution towards determining the epoch of Homer in History and in the Chronology of the Egyptian monuments on the title page with the date 1875. Bound in at the end of the book after the index is the half title and title pages for the final version of the text as it was published, the half title reading "Homeric Synchronism" and the title page with the date 1876 and the engraved vignette of a circular boat referring to the text on p230. Bound in red half morocco, marbled boards. Title The Time and Place of Homer in gilt on the spine. Five raised bands, simple gilt decoration in the compartments. Some rubbing to spine, joints and edges. Internally in very good condition although with pages untrimmed and offset as expected in proof form. The foot of the first page of each gathering is stamped "Clarendon Press Oxford. 15 Jan 1876" and the head of these pages has been stamped with various dates from "11 Dec 75" to "7 Jan 76". On many pages Gladstone has written "Press" or "Press if found clear".
In 1874, when Gladstone’s first spell as Prime Minister ended, he published two essays on The Place of Homer in History. These were expanded into Homeric Synchronism. This proof copy has a correction or amendment on almost every page, from a simple comma to the addition of complete paragraphs. One eccentricity is Gladstone’s insistence that, where a Greek name contains the letter “Y”, it should be transliterated as “U”, hence, Odusseus, not Odysseus. A contemporary review in The Spectator criticised this “strange spelling” which turned “Cyrus” into “Cures”. As all these alterations appear in the first published edition of March 1876, it is clear that these amendments are the final ones. It is fascinating to see the finished book emerge in front of us, particularly when, at the end we discover the new title page.