Literary Hours or Sketches Critical and Narrative, by DRAKE, Nathan…

DRAKE, Nathan (1766-1836).

Literary Hours or Sketches Critical and Narrative, by Nathan Drake. In two volumes. Vol. I [-II]. The Second Edition, corrected and greatly enlarged [with: Literary Hours; or Sketches, Critical, Narrative, and Poetical. In three volumes. Vol. III]. Sudbury, Cadell and Davies, 1800 [-1804].

Second Edition. Two volumes, 8vo (210 x 120 mm), pp. [vi], iv, [ii], ii, [ii], 455; [ii], ii, [ii], 479. [1], 10; [ii], ii, 552, 6, the three volumes uniformly bound in full calf, gilt fillet to covers, spines gilt in compartments, wanting all but one of the six labels, with the contemporary bookplates of William Battell and H.F. Davies of Elmley Castle and the ownership inscription of W. Battell.

A complete set of this whimsical literary compilation by a Yorkshire born medic who practised in Sudbury between 1790 and 1792, hence the unusual imprint. A popular essayist, he was also an early advocate of German literature and a passionate scholar of Elizabethan literature. Of Samuel Johnson, he writes: ‘he was deficient in that sensibility to, and enthusiasm for the charms of nature, in that relish for the simple and pathetic, so absolutely necessary to just criticism in poetry. To these defalcations were superadded an unreasonable antipathy to blank verse, a constitutional ruggedness of temper, and a bigotted, though well-meant, adhesion to some very extravagant political and religious tenets. His biographical details have suffered much from these peculiarities of temper and taste, and a Milton, an Akenside, a Collins, a Dyer and a Gray, might upbraid the Literary Dictator for his bitter and illiberal invective, his churlish and parsimonious praise, his great and various misrepresentations’.

ESTC t92945.

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