Reliques of Ancient English Poetry by PERCY, Thomas (1729-1811).

PERCY, Thomas (1729-1811).

Reliques of Ancient English Poetry consisting of Old Heroic Ballads, Songs, and other Pieces of our earlier Poets, together with some few of later date. The Fourth Edition. Volume the First [-Third]. 1794, London, Gilbert and Rivington.

Fourth Edition.
NB _ 7 engraved plates??????? Ask Aggie...
Three volumes, 8vo (183 x 113 mm), engraved frontispiece and pp. cxiii, [i], 382, vi 405 [2], xlvi, 368, 7 engravings in the text, 1 sheet of musical score, in contemporary red half morocco over marbled boards, extremities worn, spines ruled and lettered in gilt, corners from title-pages cut away to remove early ownership inscription, with the contemporary heraldic bookplate of C. Wyndham Rawdon, later booklabel of L.G.H. Mason pasted over the name.

An attractive copy of this fourth edition, complete with a new preface. Percy kept emending the first edition as it was in the press, and he continued to revise the second edition and the third (1775). The revisions here include both corrections and ‘such further Illustrations as had either occurred to himself or his friends; he hath given a new Arrangement of some few pieces, which did not before stand in the order of time; and he has met with more perfect or more ancient copies of some of the others’ (‘Advertisement to the second Edition’). The most extensive changes are to be found in the four essays – ‘On the ancient English Minstrels’, ‘On the Origin of the English Stage’, ‘On the Metre of Pierce Plowman’s Vision’, and ‘On the ancient metrical Romances’. These were so altered from the first edition that Dodsley also issued them as a separate pamphlet (Four Essays, 1767). The dedication to the Countess of Northumberland, written for Percy by Samuel Johnson, is reprinted unchanged from 1765.

ESTC t81998.

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