Review of Poetry, Ancient and Modern. A Poem. By Lady M******. London, Booth, 1799.
First Edition. 4to, (280 x 220mm), pp. [iv], 30, uncut throughout, last leaf a little dust-soiled, stitched as issued, extremities a little worn.
A good, fresh copy in original condition, uncut and stitched as issued, of Lady Manners' poem about the history of poetry, dedicated to her son. Originally from Cork, Catherine Rebecca Grey came to live in England in 1790 on her marriage to William Manners, later Lord Huntingtower of Leicester. The nostalgic Irish landscapes of her first volume of poetry, with its tales of lovers in Norman times, brought her much popularity, earning her the compliment, ‘a most accomplished lady’, in the Gentleman’s Magazine.
The present poem, Manners’ second and last publication, also received a favourable review in the Gentleman’s Magazine, where she was praised for succinctly characterising ‘the thematic and moral concerns of poets from ‘matchless Homer’ to ‘enlightened Johnson’. The extensive catalogue of ancient poets, including Pindar, Theocritus, Lucretius, and Tasso, and English poets since Chaucer, reveals discerning intelligence and wide reading. Poetry is enlisted to lead the way to moral truth; “Addison’s enlighten’d page / Charmed while it reformed the age”; and “Piety’s seraphic flame / Mark(s) enlighten’d Johnson’s name”’ (GM, August 1799).
ESTC t106175; Jackson p. 238.