First EditionEMERSON, Ralph Waldo. Representative Men. Seven Lectures. First London Edition: 1850. The Lord Lovelace presentation copy, inscribed “Right Honble Earl of Lovelace With the Author’s Compliments” on the front free endpaper (likely in the hand of Emerson's publisher). Original plum cloth, elaborately decorated in blind (Myerson’s binding A), spine gilt lettered; spine and edges sunned. Lovelace and Emerson met frequently in London, especially at his publisher Chapman’s house, where the author boarded.
Lord William Lovelace was married to Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace, the daughter of Alfred Lord Byron and a mathematician known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical computer the Analytical Engine. Lovelace was present at a number of the “Representative Men” lectures that Emerson delivered in England in 1848. This volume comprises Emerson's essays on Plato, Swedenborg, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Napoleon and Goethe. Emerson’s journal confirms he personally requested this copy to be given to Lovelace: In his entry for 17 November 1849, Emerson wrote, “I sent Chapman orders to send copies of Representative Men to […] Earl of Lovelace.” In custom rust linen and silk clamshell case. A wonderful presentation copy. BAL 5219. Provenance: William King, Lord Lovelace (presentation inscription on front free endpaper) — Whitwell Hatch (library blindstamp to front free endpaper).