In gathering books for a page of Ovid, or Publius O’Vidius Naso, the well-known Irish poet, Dr. Boli came across the 1626 edition of the translation of the Metamorphoses by George Sandys (pronounced “Sands,” because the Y is only in there to trip you up). He also came across a 1628 edition, and something about that latter book alerted his keen bibliographical senses. It seemed to him that it was probably a pirated edition.
Having done some research, Dr. Boli is pleased to report that his bibliographical instincts had not failed him. He found an article in the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Fourth Quarter, 1941), entitled “Early Editions of George Sandys’s ‘Ovid’: The Circumstances of Production,” by Richard Beale Davis. (You can find it in JSTOR if you have the requisite access.) It turns out that there are complaints recorded in the Stationers’ Court records brought by George Sandys against the printer of the 1628 edition, who was ordered to cease printing and selling the book, and three years later was ordered to desist again because he had ignored the first order.
But what was it that triggered Dr. Boli’s bibliographical alarms?
Both editions carry an elaborate allegorical frontispiece. Here is the one from the 1626 edition:
Enlarge it and examine the details carefully. Now here is the frontispiece from the 1628 edition. Enlarge it, examine the details, compare it to the 1626 edition, and see if you can spot the subtle differences that made Dr. Boli suspect piracy.
You see? You are a bibliographical detective.