Milton’s Paradise Lost: 1688 & 1691

From the restoration of 1688 and 1691 small folio editions of Paradise Lost, a complete first illustrated edition and a later printing missing the frontis portrait and most of the 12 plates that preface each “book”. The 1688 edition needed only minor repairs but provided the source for our missing plates. We used a unique scanner where the book is hung over the edge, allowing us to capture deep into the inner margin without putting any stress on the binding. The scans were digitally cleaned, output on hand-made paper, airbrushed to lightly age, and sewn along with the newly mended text. Though heavily worn, we reused the original boards of the 1691 copy with their marbled paper sides, simply lifting the paper and inserting new leather for the spine underneath. The 1688 edition needed a new label and strengthening of both inner and outer joints.

1691 Milton Original lacing holes

Original boards and holes for lacing in cords.

1691 Milton Marbled paper, both original

Though the marbled paper sides were heavily faded and worn, we found a bit of paper under a pastedown with much of the original brightness.

1691 Milton Old & New Plates

Original plate at right with new plate at left before aging.

1691 Milton New Plates Drying

Newly aged plates drying.

Mended sections ready for resewing.

Mended sections ready for resewing.

Resewn on strong cords and ready to be bound into the original boards.

Resewn on strong cords and ready to be bound into the original boards.

1691 Milton Laced in

Newly sewn cords laced into the original boards.

1691 Milton lining spine

Spine being relined after sewing on raised cords.

 

1691 new spine

New leather worked on, with label applied.

1691 new plate for book 9

The fully restored 1691 edition opened to one of the missing plates.

New frontis portrait.

New frontis portrait.

1691 tucking inner joint

New paper inner joints being inserted under original flyleaves and pastedowns. These are carefully toned and aged to blend with the old paper.

New label and joint repair on the complete 1688 edition.

New label and joint repair on the complete 1688 edition.