- Tag = English Literature
A Miscellany of Poems,
Consisting of Original Poems, Translations, Pastorals in the Cumberland Dialect, Familiar Epistles, Fables, Songs, and Epigrams. By the late Revered Josiah Relph of Sebergham, Cumberland. With a Preface and a Glossary.
Glasgow, Robert Foulis for Mr. Thomlinson, 1747.
First Edition. 8vo, (250 x 120mm), pp. [xlix], 157, a few slightly browned pages and worming towards the end, touching some letters of the glossary and contents, but without serious loss, in the original sheep, single gilt fillet to covers, spine with raised bands, ruled in gilt, red morocco label lettered in gilt, joints cracked but firm and corners slightly worn.
The first appearance of the collected poems of Josiah Relph, including his poems in the Cumberland dialect. The collection was posthumously published and was edited… (more)
The first appearance of the collected poems of Josiah Relph, including his poems in the Cumberland dialect. The collection was posthumously published and was edited by Thomas Sanderson, who supplied the biography of Relph in the preface (pp. viii-xvi). A lengthy glossary is also included as well as a contents leaf at the end. With a long list of over 30 pages of subscribers, including a final page listing ‘Names of Subscribers come to hand since printing the above List’.
‘Relph’s poetical works were published posthumously in 1747 and 1798. A wider, national circulation of a few of his poems was achieved by their inclusion in Thomas West’s A Guide to the Lakes, 1784, which was read by Wordsworth, Southey, and early nineteenth century poets. Similarly, in the twentieth century, his dialect poetry is included in anthologies of Lakeland verse, such as those of the poet Norman Nicholson (The Lake District: an anthology, 1977). Relph’s best verses are in the dialect of his native county; they are on pastoral subjects, with classical allusions’ (ODNB).
ESTC t109779.More details Price: £800.00
A Philosophical Analysis
and Illustration of some of Shakespeare’s Remarkable Characters. By W. Richardson, Esq. Professor of Humanity in the University of Glasgow. The Third Edition, Corrected.
London, Murray, 1784.
‘Third Edition, Corrected: a reissue of the ‘New Edition Corrected’, London 1780, with a cancel title-page; First Edition. Two volumes, 8vo, Philosophical Analysis: pp. 207, ; Essays on Shakespeare’s Dramatic Characters: , vi, , 4-170, , with half-title, two final advertisement leaves, an errata slip pasted to the foot of p. 170, the title-page in the state with a hyphen in ‘Fleet-Street’ in the imprint; the two works uniformly bound in contemporary calf, flat spines ruled in gilt with red and black morocco labels, lettered and numbered in gilt, with the bookplate of the Marquess of Headfort in each volume.
A very attractive pair of critical texts on Shakespeare’s characters, uniformly bound (numbered as volumes one and two) and in very fresh condition, from the… (more)
A very attractive pair of critical texts on Shakespeare’s characters, uniformly bound (numbered as volumes one and two) and in very fresh condition, from the library of the Marquess of Headfort.
ESTC t136698; t136684.More details Price: £800.00
A Poetical Dictionary;
or, the Beauties of the English Poets, Alphabetically Displayed. Containing the most Celebrated Passages in the following Authors, viz. Shakespear, Johnson, Dryden, Lee, Otway, Beaumont, Fletcher, Lansdowne, Butler, Southerne, Addison, Pope, Gay, Garth, Rowe, Young, Thompson, Mallet, Armstrong, Francis, Warton, Whitehead, Mason, Gray, Akenside, Smart, &c. In four volumes. Vol. I [-IV].
London, Newberry &c., 1761.
First Edition. Four volumes, 12mo, (172 x 98mm), pp. xii, 288; [ii], 244; [ii], 276; [ii], 252, small marginal tear to the title of volume three, without loss, in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, flat spines simply ruled and numbered in gilt with black morocco labels lettered in gilt, with a library stamp marked ‘T.K.S.’ on the title-pages, partly obscuring the lettering, and with the booklabel of Old Sleningford Hall pasted on each title-page, partially or completely obscuring the ‘A’ of the title.
An attractive copy of Samuel Derrick’s selection of English poetry, arranged according to subject, from ‘Abbey’ to ‘Zimri’, through ‘Folly’, ‘Genius’, ‘Gentlewoman’ (and, later, ‘Woman’),… (more)
An attractive copy of Samuel Derrick’s selection of English poetry, arranged according to subject, from ‘Abbey’ to ‘Zimri’, through ‘Folly’, ‘Genius’, ‘Gentlewoman’ (and, later, ‘Woman’), ‘Kensington Garden’, ‘Marriage’ and ‘Pleasure’. Derrick was an actor turned writer from Dublin whose most interesting works include a translation of Cyrano de Bergerac’s A Voyage to the Moon, 1753 and an edition of Dryden’s works published in 1760. After the failure of his acting career he continued to work closely with the theatre, making various verse and prose contributions and publishing a successful commentary, The dramatic censor; being remarks upon the conduct, characters, and catastrophe of our most celebrated plays, London 1752. On first arriving in London, he made the acquaintance of Boswell, who later regretted his earlier friendship with ‘this creature... a little blackguard pimping dog’ (Boswell’s London Journal, ed. Potten, 1950, p. 228). Johnson, when asked who was the finer poet, Derrick or Christopher Smart, famously replied, ‘Sir, there is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea’ (Boswell, Life of Johnson, ed. Hill and Powell, 1934, IV, 192 - 193).
In the preface, Derrick argues that as English boasts the greatest poetry of any modern language, it is an injustice to the nation to neglect it and he believes that the lack of this sort of anthology proves that it has been neglected. He allows that some similar works have been published, for example Byshe’s Art of Poetry, but these have tended to concentrate on translations from the classics: ‘but these are not the perfections of Dryden and Pope: it is Homer and Virgil we compliment in our admiration; the only merits of our great countrymen that occur, are classical knowledge, and talents for smooth versification. It is in their original works, their imitations of nature, and not of men, that we must look for that excellence in our most celebrated writers, which reflects honour upon the nation, and helps to exemplify its literary character’ (p. ix-x).
‘The various topics in these volumes are arranged in alphabetical order; so that they may be easily found, and the authors name is affixed to each. Here the man of knowledge and erudition will find an index to refresh his memory; the preceptor proper themes to exercise and enrich the mind of his pupil; and knowledge, supported by ornament, will be insensibly conveyed to the young gentleman’s heart, who shall reap instruction from the amusement... The editor hopes the work may be also an agreeable present to the ladies, many of whom boast a more refined taste than the generality of the other sex’ (p. x - xi).
ESTC t42700; Roscoe A412.More details Price: £500.00
or The Triumph of the Graces. Exemplified In the Real Life and Fortunes of a Young Lady of Distinction.
Second Dublin Edition. 12mo (160 x 100 mm), pp. [iii]-viii, -213,  advertisements, portrait vignette on title, in contemporary calf, rather worn, extremities rubbed, headcap chipped, spine ruled in gilt with red morocco label lettered in gilt.
A scarce Dublin reprint of this English translation by Sarah Scott of La Place’s novel, La Laideur Aimable, et les Dangers de la Beauté, first… (more)
A scarce Dublin reprint of this English translation by Sarah Scott of La Place’s novel, La Laideur Aimable, et les Dangers de la Beauté, first published under a false ‘Londres’ imprint in 1752. There were two distinct issues of the original French novel, the first published with the subtitle ‘Histoire Véritable’ (ESTC t130379, at BL, Taylorian, Clark and Gdansk) and the second bearing the slightly altered title with the clause ‘Piéce trouvée dans les Papiers de Mlle *** Auteur de la Cécile’. Presumably this latter clause was deemed to help sales on the back of his other novel, Mémoires de Cécile (Cioranescu 36937), also published in 1752, perhaps after the first appearance of this less successful work. Sarah Scott’s reworking of the title is particularly interesting as she turns the negative into a positive and leaves out altogether the phrase ‘the dangers of beauty’, but that she leaves in the - presumably fictitious - claim to verisimilitude as being the ‘real life and fortunes of a young lady of distinction’, not quite the same as finding the story in the papers of Mademoiselle ***, but tending to the same illusion.
It would be interesting to compare nuances of translation as the female translator handles the tricky subject of female ugliness in the eighteenth century as described by a male writer: very much an unfashionable idea and perhaps one reason the novel itself does not seem to have been very popular in either language. This English translation - with the ‘Dedication to those Ladies who are ignominiously distinguished under the Denomination of Ugly’ - was first published in 1754 and was for some time was taken for an original work by Sarah Scott.
ESTC t164831 lists National Library of Ireland only; OCLC adds Oakland University.More details Price: £1,400.00
A Poem. Upon the Model of Tully’s Essay of Old Age. In Four Books. By Samuel Catherall, M.A. Fellow of Oriel College, in Oxford, and Prebendary of Wells.
London, Roberts, 1725.
First Edition. 8vo, (193 x 119mm), pp. xvi, 88, with an engraved frontispiece included in the pagination (as in Foxon), the first and last few leaves a little dusty, in contemporary gilt and blind ruled calf, spine ruled, considerably worn and with the joints split but holding on the cords, head and tail-cap missing, the surface of the boards worn, extremities bumped, with the ownership inscription of ‘Jno. Aspinall’ on the title page, an early catalogue annotation on the front free endpaper and the recent booklabel of Jim Edwards.
A scarce versification of one of Cicero’s most famous essays, printed by Samuel Richardson. The author, fellow of Oriel College and a canon of Wells… (more)
A scarce versification of one of Cicero’s most famous essays, printed by Samuel Richardson. The author, fellow of Oriel College and a canon of Wells Cathedral, explains in his preface that he was inspired by Denham’s earlier translation of the same text: ‘About three years ago, lighting on Sir John Denham’s translation of that celebrated piece (Tully’s book De Senectute) and, not without some wonder and pity, seeing that great genius fall so much below the spirit of the Roman orator, in his English metre; I was so vain, as to think a kind of paraphrase of the same essay, would succeed easier and better: and therefore, at my leisure hours, when severer studies became tedious, I undertook to build a poem (if it is worthy to be call’d so) on Tully’s most exquisite model; taking special care to follow his exalted sentiments, as closely as I could, and not presuming to add much of my own, unless where I am fond of spinning out a Ciceronian thought to the utmost’.
ESTC t128149; Foxon C72.
Chit-Chat: Or Natural Characters;
And the Manners of Real Life, represented in a Series of interesting Adventures.
Dublin, Henry Saunders, 1755.
First Dublin Edition. Two volumes in one, 12mo (170 x 100 mm), pp. [ii], 222, including a final page of advertisements, woodcut vignettes on title-pages, initials and head-pieces, bound in contemporary plain calf, a little worn at extremities, contemporary ownership inscription of Isabella Monck on the title-page, woodcut titles, initials and head-pieces.
A scarce Dublin reprint of a scarce novel designated as, and printed in, two ‘volumes’ and four parts, but with continuous pagination and register and… (more)
A scarce Dublin reprint of a scarce novel designated as, and printed in, two ‘volumes’ and four parts, but with continuous pagination and register and bound in one volume. The first volume concludes on p. 107, ‘The End of the Second Book’, there is a separate title-page to ‘Vol. II’ and then the story continues with ‘Book the Third’ on p. 111. The novel concludes on p. 221 with ‘The End of the Fourth and Last Book’ and there is a final page of bookseller’s advertisements on p. 222. First published by Dodsley earlier in the same year (ESTC t70728, at BL, CUL, Bodleian, Duke, Huntington, Indiana, Chicago, Penn and Yale), this is often listed as anonymous but has been attributed to John Collet, an attribution followed by James Raven and based on that of the British Library copy.
Charlotte Byersley is nineteen when the novel opens and has just lost her mother. She has been brought up quietly by her parents and although she has had a reasonable education, she knows little of the ways of hte world. Her father, anxious to supply her with a woman’s care, naturally chooses very badly and finds her a companion in the giddy and superficial Miss Arabella Seward, whose ‘outward behaviour was polish’d, specious and insincere’ and who had ‘no other aim but to secure a rich husband’. Shortly after Arabella’s arrival, Charlotte meets the son of her father’s friend, young Welford, recently down from Cambridge but the course of true love does not, of course, run smoothly. All is resolved in time, however, after a series of adventures involving them and many other characters. One unusual incident is that the heroine develops smallpox, is extremely ill with the disease but recovers fully except for the loss of her complexion. This she mourns greatly on her recovery as she assumes that with her lost looks, she has also lost all hopes of being loved by Welford. Abandoned in her illness by the worldly Arabella, Charlotte finds a new confidante and nurse in Mrs Bootle, who persuades her to believe that Welford ‘had too much good sense to place his affection meerly on a set of features, or fine complexion’ (p. 111).
‘To say the best of this performance, it contains nothing indecent or offensive to the chaste and modest ear; but, at the same time, it must be confessed, the reader of taste will here find nothing to excite and keep up his curiosity, engage his attention, or interest his heart. The author has involved about half a dozen couple of insipids, in certain uninteresting adventures and difficulities, out of which they are extricated at last; -- and all is conducted in the modern way, without energy, humour, or spirit’ (The Monthly Review, XII, April 1755, p. 388).
ESTC n44248, at BL, Newberry and Yale only.
See Block p. 40; Raven 307.More details Price: £1,650.00
or, Memoirs of the Life and Adventures of Mr. B******. (Written by Himself.) Interspersed with Original Anecdotes of Living Characters.
Liverpool, Charles Wosencroft, 1786.
First Edition. 8vo in fours (208 x 120 mm), pp. vi, -351, in contemporary sheep, front joint weak, some general wear to binding, red morocco label lettered in gilt.
A scarce provincially printed novel charting the life and adventures of a feckless but charming rogue. Printed in Liverpool, in an unusual format for a… (more)
A scarce provincially printed novel charting the life and adventures of a feckless but charming rogue. Printed in Liverpool, in an unusual format for a novel, it tantalisingly combines an arch style with the possibility that its claims to being a factual account - that old turkey - might in this case actually be true. Whatever the answer to that tricky question, the romps and romantic escapades of the hero make for a very good read as we follow him through Manchester, Dublin and Liverpool to London.
With a humorous dedication ‘To his most Potent, Puissant, High and Mighty Serene Highness, The Lord Oblivion’ which begins, ‘Voracious Sir, Without leave, I presume to dedicate the following labors of my pen to you, not like a number of my contemporary brethren, whose works involuntarily fall to your share; no, revered sir, I step out of the common tract of writers, who pretend to consign their works to immortal fame, which, only mistaking, are in reallity [sic] meant for you; but as a benefit, if conferred with an ill grace, loses much of its intrinsic value, so these, my lucubrations, [as no doubt all revolving time will give them into your possession] will come with a much better appearance, presented to you, thus freely, from myself’.
ESTC t68953, listing two copies at the BL, Liverpool, Bodleian and Yale only; OCLC adds Chapel Hill.
Garside, Raven & Schöwerling 1786:19.More details Price: £4,000.00
Confessions in Elysium;
or the Adventures of a Platonic Philosopher; taken from the German of C.M. Wieland; by John Battersby Elrington, Esq. Vol. I [-III].
London, Minerva Press, Lane, Newman & Co., 1804.
First Edition, Minerva Press (Second) Issue. Three volumes, 12mo (170x 96 mm), pp. viii, xvi, 200; [iv], 223; [iv], 228, upper corner of I B2 torn away (wear creased along fold), not touching text, rectangular tear from half title of volume III, with loss but not touching text, in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, spines ruled and numbered in gilt, red morocco labels lettered in gilt, surace wear to front joint of volume I, otherwise the bindings slightly tight and the spines a little bright and probably touched up, with the contemporary heraldic bookplate of John Congreve in each volume.
A scarce translation of a philosophical novel by Wieland, Geheime Geschichte des Philosophen Peregrinus Proteus, first published in Leipzig in 1790-91. Wieland adapts the classical… (more)
A scarce translation of a philosophical novel by Wieland, Geheime Geschichte des Philosophen Peregrinus Proteus, first published in Leipzig in 1790-91. Wieland adapts the classical Greek setting by placing it within a quasi dream sequence - the narrator has the ability to listen to the souls the dead - where he is able to examine the life and spiritual development of the hero, the Cynic philosophier, Peregrine Proteus as he looks back on his life after his famous public suicide. The narrator recounts a conversation between Peregrinus and Lucian which takes place in Elysium. The novel owes much to Wieland’s earlier Geschichte des Agathon, 1767, which is celebrated as the first Bildungsroman or coming of age novel.
‘The original author treads with unequal, and sometimes unsteady, steps, in the track of the abbé Barthelemi, and attempts to describe Grecian manners and Grecian systems. The ancient veil, however, imperfectly covers modern ideas; and, though a part is antique, modern decorations often expose the fallacy. The confessions, as the title imports, are in Elysium. Peregrine Proteus (not the son of Neptune) meets Lucian in Elysium, and recounts a series of adventures, scarcely probably, with descriptions neither antique, appropriate, nor always decent. In short, the English reader would have lost little had the Confessions retained their original Teutonic garb. The Agathon of Wieland is again introduced: he should have been condemned to everlasting oblivion’ (Critical Review, November 1804, pp. 359-360).
With a dedication to Prince William Frederick of Glocester [sic], signed I.B. Elrington and a note to the subscribers, signed ‘The Translator’, although no subscribers list is known. A four page preface, ‘To the World’, printed in italics, is signed ‘I.B.E.’ and dated London, March 1st 1804. This scarce translation was first published by Bell; this is a remainder issue published by the Minerva Press, with new half-titles and title-pages. An earlier translation of Wieland’s novel, by William Tooke, was published under the title Private History of Peregrinus Proteus the Philosopher, London, Joseph Johnson, 1796.
Blakey, The Minerva Press, p. 211; Garside, Raven & Schöwerling 1804:71.
Both issues of this novel are very scarce. OCLC lists the Bell issue at Cambridge and London University only and this Minerva Press issue at Yale, New York Society Library and Penn only.More details Price: £4,000.00
or, Amusements on the Road of Life. By the author of The Spiritual Quixote.
London, Dodsley, 1776 -1780.
First Editions. Two volumes, 8vo, (178 x 112mm), engraved frontispiece to each volume (v. I Collyer after C.W.B.; v. II C. Grignion after W. Hoare) and pp. [iv], viii, [viii], 308; xvii, [i], [x], 211, two further engraved vignettes in the text to volume one by Collyer, engraved tail-pieces on the last page of both volumes (v. I by ‘J.W.’; v. II by C. Grignion), small tear on the last leaf of volume two, without loss and not touching text, final leaves rather browned, in contemporary calf, spines gilt in compartments with red morocco labels lettered in gilt, and second red labels numbered in gilt, with a later Crichton Stuart heraldic bookplate.
An attractive set of this elegant poetical compilation by Richard Graves, author of the highly successful picaresque novel, The Spiritual Quixote, 1773. The two volumes… (more)
An attractive set of this elegant poetical compilation by Richard Graves, author of the highly successful picaresque novel, The Spiritual Quixote, 1773. The two volumes were published four years apart, and the second volume is more commonly found with the second edition of the first volume which was brought out with it. The first volume is dedicated to Lady Head, wife of Sir Thomas Head, of Langley in Berkshire, and the second volume is dedicated to Mrs Warburton ‘as a slender tribute of gratitude for many and important favours received from the family at Prior-Park’. The first volume begins with an eight page Apology - ‘some apology is undoubtedly requisite for publishing at this time of day Madrigals in form’ - in which Graves gives an account of his poetical development, charting influences from Voltaire to his friend William Shenstone. He concludes by stating that, if any of his poems had been immoral, he would sooner have consigned them ‘to eternal oblivion’ than have printed them, even though he fears their destination to humble: ‘to be exposed on stalls... or to encrease the trash of circulating libraries’. The preface to the second volume explains that much of the contents were written for a poetical society at ‘B- E-n’, viz. the literary salon hosted by Anna Miller at her house in Batheaston. Although a number of important writers attended the salon, including David Garrick and Anna Seward, its pretentious customs and Miller’s own mediocre poetry caused it to be widely mocked. ‘This society, I am aware’, writes Graves, ‘has been exposed to the undeserved insults of envy and disappointment: and even to the affected sneers of some fastidious critics of a more respectable character’, by which he probably means Dr. Johnson.
The volumes are attractively illustrated, with engraved frontispieces, vignettes and tail-pieces. The frontispiece to volume one depicts a bucolic scene illustrating a quotation from Virgil, engraved by Joseph Collyer (1748-1827); the two further engraved vignettes in the text are also by Collyer. The frontispiece to volume two, featuring another bucolic scene, is by Charles Grignion (1721-1810). This shows a flighty lady playing the tamborine (possibly Euphrosyne herself, the goddess of mirth and one of the three graces) with three ladies dancing in the background. The half-page engraving on the final leaf (also by Grignion, after C.W.B.) depicts an antique urn decorated with laurels: presumably this refers to the vase used at the Batheaston salon, which was a key feature in the lambasting of the society. Purchased by Anna Miller after it was dug up at Frascati in 1759, the vase was decorated with laurels and placed on an altar, where guests were invited to approach, in order to place their poetical compositions in the vase.
ESTC t146430; t126154.More details Price: £400.00
A Novel. Containing Curious and Interesting Memoirs of several Persons of Fashion in W-re. By a Lady. In Two Volumes. Vol. I [-II].
London, W. Nicoll, 1764.
First Edition. Two volumes, 12mo (168 x 90 mm), pp. xii, 179; [ii], 214, small marginal stain I, 97-104, show through from the pastedowns affecting several leaves of both volumes, in contemporary speckled calf, single gilt fillet to covers, plain spines with raised bands, numbered in gilt.
A handsome copy of the scarce first edition of Susannah Gunning’s first independent novel, preceded by the collaborative Histories of Lady Frances S --- and… (more)
A handsome copy of the scarce first edition of Susannah Gunning’s first independent novel, preceded by the collaborative Histories of Lady Frances S --- and Lady Susananah S --- , 1763, which was written with her sister, Margaret, and published by subscription. Set in Worcestershire, Family Pictures focusses on middle-class life and morality and is written partly as an epistolary novel. It contains an interesting preface which ‘blasts inadequate female education’ (Feminist Companion) and talks of novels and circulating libraries as the inevitable refuge of ‘illiterate sisters’ trying to keep up with their ‘pedant’ brothers.
‘It has been, indeed, the custom of the world in general, and consequently of England, to be negligent and backward in training up female minds to literature, the distaff or domestick concerns being allotted them as their proper and most natural province... it is evident, that the generality of mothers instruct their daughters, or cause them to be instructed, merely in such particulars, as are not only useless to society, but likewise highly pernicious. Should Miss be handsome, she is early taught to hold her person in the greatest admiration... She must not learn to write, for fear of becoming round-shouldered, or work, lest she impair her fine eyes. Therefore a little imperfect French, an easy (and too frequently an insufferable) assurance, to tingle a harpsichord, and play quadrille, includes the whole of female education’ (pp. vi-viii).
Susannah Minifie married the unsavoury Captain John Gunning in 1768 and was the mother of the novelist and translator, Elizabeth Gunning. A scandal ensued when Elizabeth opposed her father’s choice of husband. Dubbed the ‘Gunninghiad’ by Walpole, it embroiled the family in years of shameful revelations concerning John Gunning’s behaviour with reputed forgeries, adulteries and accusations of criminal behaviour.
‘SG was most pungent when she was fictionalizing her personal experiences, but her rather innocent novels do not truly reflect the lurid complications attendant on marriage to John Dunning. In her most dramatic scenes, SG tends toward hyperbole, a habit for which Lady Harcourt coined the word ‘minific’... Yet SG’s satirically treated characters often speak with compressed vigor’ (Janice Thaddeus, A Dictionary of British and American Women Writers 1660-1800, p. 144).
ESTC t125378, at BL, Rylands, Bristol and Penn only.
Raven 854.More details Price: £5,000.00
or, Memoirs of Illustrious and Celebrated Women, of all ages and countries. Alphabetically arranged. By Mary Hays. In Six Volumes. Vol. I [-VI].
London, Richard Phillips, 1803.
First Edition. Six volumes, 12mo (175 x 95 mm), pp. xxvi, 238, *169-*238, 239-316; [ii], 404; [ii], 444; [ii], 504; [ii], 527; [ii], 476,  advertisments, tear on II, 135, against text but with no loss, in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, spines and corners ruled in gilt, spines lettered and numbered in gilt, a little wear to extremities and surface of boards but generally a sound and attractive set.
First edition of this impressive work of early female biography, written by Mary Hays, radical novelist, friend of Mary Wollstonecraft and important early feminist. Hays… (more)
First edition of this impressive work of early female biography, written by Mary Hays, radical novelist, friend of Mary Wollstonecraft and important early feminist. Hays includes biographies of 294 women across different countries and from different centuries. Her preface is notable as an early call to arms for for women’s education and emancipation, putting a persuasive case for the superiority of women.
‘My pen has been taken up in the cause and for the benefit of my own sex. For their improvement, and to their entertainment, my labours have been devote... I have at heart the happiness of my sex, and their advancement in the grand scale of rational and social existence. I perceive, with mingled concern and indignation, the follies and vices by which they suffer themselves to be degraded. If, through prudence or policy, the generous contention between the sexes for intellectual equality must be waved, be not, my amiable country-women, poorly content with the destination of the slave of an Eastern haram, with whom the season of youth forms the whole life! A woman who to the graces and gentleness of her own sex, adds the knowledge and fortitude of the other, exhibits the most perfect combination of human excellence. Let not the cold sarcasms of the pedant stifle your generous ardour in pursuit of what is praise-worthy: substitute, as they fade, for the evanescent graces of youth, the more durable attractions of a cultivated mind; that, to the intoxicating homage of admiration and love, may succeed the calmer and not less gratifying tribute of friendship and esteem. To her who, sacrificing at the shrine of fashion, wastes her bloom in frivolity; who, trained but for the purposes of vanity and voluptuousness, and contemning the characteristic delicacy of her sex, dauntless obtrudes her charms on the public eye, the jest of the licentious, and the contempt of the severe; dreadful must be the approach of age, that season of collected thought and of repose to the passions, that will rob her of her only claim to distinction and regard. To excite a worthier emulation, the following memorial of those women, whose endowments, or whose conduct, have reflected lustre upon the sex, is presented more especially to the rising generation, who have not grown old in folly, whose hearts have not been seared by fashion, and whose minds prejudice has not yet warped’ (Preface, pp. iii-vi).
Mary Hays wrote several novels: her most famous, Memoirs of Emma Courtney, London 1796, included letters from William Godwin, this was followed by the overtly feminist The Victim of Prejudice, London 1799 and later by Harry Clinton, London 1804 and Family Annals, London 1817. The reception of her first novel, with its notorious approval of sexual freedom, and the radical stance of her later novels did much to limit critical approval of Hay’s works in her lifetime and, although the present work brought her some financial stability, it was not until the twentieth century that she saw real acclaim.More details Price: £3,000.00
Fifty Lyrical Ballads.
By Thomas Haynes Bayly.
Bath, Mary Mayler, 1829.
First Edition. 4to, (238 x 190 mm), pp. [iv], 80, entirely untrimmed, in the original drab boards, worn at extremities with spine delicate, most of the printed paper label still present, foxing to endleaves but the text generally very clean, inscribed on the title-page ‘Mrs D... (?) From the Author’.
A presentation copy of this attractively produced volume of songs printed by Mary Mayler, who ran one of Bath’s most successful bookshops, lending libraries and… (more)
A presentation copy of this attractively produced volume of songs printed by Mary Mayler, who ran one of Bath’s most successful bookshops, lending libraries and publishing houses. A note on the verso of the title-page states that the volume was privately printed: ‘These songs are all published with Music, but being the Property of various Persons, the Author has not the power of publishing them collectively. This Volume has therefore been printed for private circulation’.
Produced at the height of Bayly’s fame when his reputation as lyric poet and songwriter made him a popular feature at fashionable soirées in Bath, at one of which he met his future wife, Helena Beecher Hayes. This privately produced volume was evidently intended as a gracious compliment for favours received: this presentation copy is one of a number of presentation copies extant (unfortunately the inscription on the title-page is hard to read: Mrs Davison? Mrs Davinay?).
The volume includes many of his most famous songs, such as ‘I’d be a butterfly born in a bower’ (p. 28), composed on his wedding journey at Lord Ashdown’s villa near Southampton. The notes at the end of this work include a Latin version of that song composed by Francis Wrangham. 1829 also marked the year that Bayly moved to London and embarked on his theatrical career, one at which he enjoyed a fair success and which saw him through financially when the combined blow of loss of income from his Irish estates and the collapse of his coalmining investments hit him in 1831 and it became necessary for him to support his family by writing.More details Price: £350.00
or, the History of a Young Man of Fashion... In three volumes. Vol. I [-III].
London, Luke Hansard for T. Cadell, 1799.
FIRST EDITION. Three volumes, 8vo (160 x 88 mm), pp. [iv], 169; [ii], 235; [ii], 187, in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, flat spines ruled and numbered in gilt, with gilt monogram and coronet in top compartment, red morocco labels lettered in gilt, with the contemporary ownership inscription of M. Downshire on the second and third title pages.
A handsome copy of a highly readable novel, with a nice contemporary female provenance. The story tells of the early life of Frederic Latimer, from… (more)
A handsome copy of a highly readable novel, with a nice contemporary female provenance. The story tells of the early life of Frederic Latimer, from his infancy, the death of his father, who was a naval hero and a son of the Earl of Cressy, the remarriage of his mother to the elderly Duke of Annan and her subsequent neglect of him, his school days when he was ‘the best scholar, the best cricketer and the best boxer of Westminster School’ (p. 68), his life at the house of his tutor, Mr. Darewell, and his falling in love with Charlotte, Mr. Darewell’s daughter. In alarm at this inappropriate match, the tutor sends Frederic to Oxford, where the fellows’ social life of stale political jokes, sixpenny whist, ale and smoking does little to cure his heart ache. Innocent and trusting by nature, it is not long before he falls into bad company and in one night of gambling and rather too much wine he ‘exchanged a situation of ease and independence for one of debt and embarrassment’. The debt takes him to London where he has further adventures and begins to wise up a bit. He enlists in the guards, finds more genuine friends, resists a profitable marriage, is posted to the West Indies, succeeds to the peerage on his return and is finally united in marriage to the faithful Charlotte.
This is Le Maistre’s first work, with the following apology by way of preface: ‘The Author of the following trifle has concealed his name, because, unknown in the literary world, its disclosure would have increased his anxiety, without contributing to his success. He has dedicated this little work to no individual; because the Public is the only patron whom he is ambitious of pleasing; and he adds this Preface, merely to solicit for “Frederic Latimer” that indulgence which is usually shewn to a first attempt’. The author’s hope seems to have been gratified, for the novel was well received by the reviewers. The Critical Review commended it as a good first work in which ‘The follies and absurdities of fashion are well satirised’ whilst Thomas Wallace in the Monthly Review wrote: ‘In these volumes, the reader will find the vices and follies of the woman of fashion, the frauds of the gambler, the arts of the coquette, the levity and generosity of youth, and the dignity of worth and wisdom, described with considerable judgment, in the course of a story of which the plot is interesting, and, except one or two incidents towards the denouement, sufficiently natural’.
Provenance: Mary Hill, Marchioness of Downshire, Baroness Sandys (1774-1836), with her crested monogram in the upper section of each spine, and her ownership inscription on two of the three volumes.
Garside, Raven & Schowerling 1799:65; Summers p. 331; Block (under De Maistre) p. 57.
ESTC t71898.More details Price: £2,500.00
or, a Discourse between Jest and Earnest; where many a True Word is pleasantly spoken, in Opposition to all Libellers against the Government. Vol I. [-II].
London, Benjamin Tooke, 1713.
First Collected Edition. Two volumes, 12mo, pp. [ix], [i], extra title page and blank leaf inserted in preface, 264; [ii], 252,  index, in contemporary calf, rubbed, spines cracking, heads chipped, wanting labels, numbered in gilt on spines.
First book edition of a popular humorous work originally published in eighty-two weekly numbers from February 1st 1681 to August 22nd 1682. A bestselling Restoration… (more)
First book edition of a popular humorous work originally published in eighty-two weekly numbers from February 1st 1681 to August 22nd 1682. A bestselling Restoration periodical, it contains a series of jests, riddles and satirical dialogues on politics, government, Whigs, Popery, foreign affairs, the penny post and a multitude of ephemeral topics of the day. Persistently attributed to Thomas Flatman, though there are poems included that are not entirely consistent with his style; there may well have been some collaboration involved.
ESTC t111102.More details Price: £250.00
Histoire de la Décadence et de la Chute
de l’Empire Romain; Traduit de l’Anglois de M. Gibbon, par M. Leclerc de Septchênes, Secretaire du Cabinet du Roi. Tome Premier [-Quatrième].
Paris, Debure & Moutard, 1786.
Third Edition. Four volumes, 12mo (164 x 94 mm), pp. xx, 328; [iv], 412; [iv], 410; [iv], 368, text browned in part, with the half-titles, in contemporary Austrian quarter calf over speckled boards, distinctive non-sectional gilding on the covers, yellow morocco labels lettered in gilt, bright blue geometric patterned endpapers, bright red edges, from the Starhemberg library at Schloss Eferding, with the library stamp and usual crayon shelf mark on the half-titles.
A delightful copy of Sept-Chênes’ translation of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, from the Starhemberg Library, in fresh condition in a typically Starhemberg binding. The translator,… (more)
A delightful copy of Sept-Chênes’ translation of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, from the Starhemberg Library, in fresh condition in a typically Starhemberg binding. The translator, Leclerc de Sept-Chênes, was tutor to the young Louis XVI and the first volume was partly translated by the young king as an exercise in learning English. Sept-Chênes made corrections to the work of his Royal charge and completed the translation, which was first published in three volumes in 1776. Various other translators tackled the remaining volumes of Gibbon’s work and it was finally published by Moutard in its entirety in 18 volumes, 1788-1795.
‘Louis XVI, étudiant l’anglais sous la direction de Leclerc de Sept-Chênes, lecteur de son cabinet, s’est exercé sur le premier volume, publié en 1776, et, arrivé aux 15ème et 16ème chapitres, il abandonna l’ouvrage que revit, continua et fit imprimer M. de Sept-Chênes’ (Brunet).
OCLC lists San Bernadino, Bamberg, Kassel, Gotha, Dresden and Pisa.
See Cioranescu 38375; Norton 80.
with large Additions of several other Poems being an Exact Collection of all hitherto Extant. Never before Published together. The Author R. Wild, D.D.
London, for the Booksellers in London, 1668.
Fourth Edition; First Complete Edition. Small 8vo, (140 x 87mm), pp. -122,  table, in contemporary sheep, blind-ruled, early manuscript paper label, with the ownership inscription of John Drinkwater, dated 1920, on a preliminary blank, with later booklabel of Michael Curtis Phillips, wanting the pastedowns and the endpapers but with the initial and final blank leaves (A1 and O8 ‘blank and genuine’), some light scuffing on boards but a lovely copy.
A wonderfully fresh copy in a well-preserved contemporary binding: from the collection of Richard Jennings, whose books were noted for their spectacular condition. Robert Wild… (more)
A wonderfully fresh copy in a well-preserved contemporary binding: from the collection of Richard Jennings, whose books were noted for their spectacular condition. Robert Wild was a Puritan divine and a royalist, whose occasional licentious tone and reputation for ‘irregular wit’ was said to have so worried Wild’s friend Richard Baxter that he paid his friend a special visit with the intention of rebuking him, only to be reassured after listening to Wild’s thoroughly sound, puritan sermon. The title poem of this collection was hugely popular, first published on St. George’s day in the year of Charles II’s Restoration, under the title Iter Boreale, attempting something upon the Successul and Matchless March of the Lord General Lord Monck from Scotland to London, London 1660 as ‘By a rural pen’. Dryden, who in contrast called Wild ‘the Wither of the City’, described the excitement with which the poem was received in London: ‘I have seen them reading it in the midst of ‘Change so vehemently that they lost their bargains by their candles’ ends’.
Other poems included here are ‘The Norfolk and Wisbech Cock-Fight’, ‘Upon some Bottles of Sack and Claret’, a satire on the politics of Nathaniel Lee, ‘The Recantation of a Penitent Proteus; or the Changling’, ‘The Fair Quarrel, by way of Letter, between Mr. Wanley, a Son of the Church; and Dr. Wilde, a Non-conformist’ and a number of ballads and elegies. Not an uncommon book, fairly well-held institutionally, though the new edition of Wing does not locate copies in the British Library, Yale or Harvard (although each of these does have a variant, with pp. 120 of text as opposed to pp. 122 as here). This is a fabulous copy in a modest contemporary binding from the library of Richard Jennings: the copy exhibited in the Hayward’s 1947 exhibition.
Hayward, English Poetry, no. 121 (this copy); Grolier 976; Wing W2136.More details Price: £3,500.00
or, the Woman of the World. By Anthony Frederick Holstein, Author of Isadora of Milan, Miseries of an Heiress, Bouverie, or the Pupil of the World, &c. In Four Volumes. Vol. I [-IV].
London, Henry Colburn, 1813.
FIRST EDITION. Four volumes, 12mo (174 x 95 mm), pp. [iii]-ix, [i], 216; [ii], 202; [iv], 200; [iv], 208, tears or uncut edges to several pages, with lost strip along edge of margin but not touching text (Vol II, pp. 19 & 23 and Vol. IV, pp. 23, 167 & 183), with loss but not touching text, with half-titles to Vols. III and IV only, in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, spines lettered and numbered in gilt, with the contemporary heraldic bookplate of William Kemmis in each volume.
‘The fertile brain and active fingers of Mr. Anthony Frederick Holstein are never idle. One production follows so quick upon another, that he is a… (more)
‘The fertile brain and active fingers of Mr. Anthony Frederick Holstein are never idle. One production follows so quick upon another, that he is a host in himself; and we know not how the circulating libraries could go on, if it were not for his indefatigable industry and heroic perseverance. L’Intriguante; or, the Woman of the World, cannot fail to please those readers who delight to revel in horrors; and in this novel they make pick and choose among the dismals, so happily and so plentifully are they scattered over the whole’ (Critical Review, 1813, Vol. 4, p. 556).
The novel opens with a gallows scene where a young, handsome and sincere Arnold Rutledge speaks touchingly of his repentance before being executed for the murder of his patron. A strange start to a novel, where the sympathy of the reader is entirely excited on behalf of a convicted felon, who is dead within seven pages. This is followed by a mysterious assassination, a fatal mugging, the killing of babies using opium and other random acts of cruelty and murder, culminating in the burning to death of one of the principal female characters. Add to this a gloomy dingle, near a priory and haunted by the terrifying figure of a nun, a young wife running mad for the love of another man and a series of concerts and society balls interspersed with violence and murder, and we have all the ingredients for a splendid gothic novel.
‘What Miss - or what Maudlin, listless wife’, asked the reviewer in The Critical Review, ‘does not glow with admiration when she meets with such language as the following:- His ardent gaze, rose-blighted (much virtue in rose blighted) adored lover, convulsive start, voice soft, musical, emphatic, pangs of jealousy iceing the streamts of love, glowing beneath the gaze of his ardent eyes... What lady of modern sensibility can read the above, without heaving a thousand soft sighs of sympathy? And with this sort of diction Mr. Holstein’s work abounds. This is the inebriating language, these are the senseless rhapsodies that turn our girls’ heads, and make them imagine themselves lovely unfortunates, and interesting angels. It is this flowing, flowering accumulation of prettinesses that makes the Miss of fifteen toss up her nose in the wind, at the plain sense and wholesome admonition of her parents and guardians’ (Critical Review, 1813, Vol. 4, p. 557).
Garside, Raven and Schöwerling 1813:33; Block p. 112; Summers p. 366.
OCLC lists Bodleian, Bristol and Yale.More details Price: £4,500.00
Les avantures de Joseph Andrews,
et du Ministre Abraham Adams, publiées en Anglois, en 1742. Par M... Fielding; et Traduites en François, à Londres, par une Dame Angloise, sur la troisième Edition. Tome Premier [-Second.]
London, A. Millar, 1743.
Second Edition in French. Two volumes, 12mo in eights and fours, (162 x 88mm), pp. xxiv, 328; [viii], 348, text very lightly browned in part, in contemporary mottled calf, panelled spines gilt in compartments using attractive tulip tool, spines numbered in gilt, red morocco labels lettered in gilt, the head of spine in volume one chipped with slight loss exposing the headband, some other slight wear to extremities, marbled endpapers with later Italian shelfmark labels, red edges, green silk marker.
One of two very scarce French editions of Joseph Andrews to appear under a false ‘Londres’ imprint in 1743. Hugh Amory, in his New Books… (more)
One of two very scarce French editions of Joseph Andrews to appear under a false ‘Londres’ imprint in 1743. Hugh Amory, in his New Books by Fielding, describes this as a concealed edition and suggests that it may be the later of the two. 'The presumption of priority goes to the more complex collation (it’s easier to achieve a regular structure from a printed copy than from a manuscript)'. The translation is of course not by the ‘Dame Angloise’ as claimed on the title page, but by that indefatigable Anglophile, the Abbé Desfontaines. It was reprinted in 1750, an edition which is more frequently seen.
ESTC n15028, at BL, NT, Polish Academy of Sciences, Torun University, Rice, Kansas and Minnesota. The other Londres 1743 edition is ESTC t15027, at BL, Bodleian, Brotherton and Harvard.
Amory, New Books by Fielding, Cambridge, Houghton Library, 1987, item 53; Rochedieu p. 107.More details Price: £650.00
of the Right Honourable Lady M----y W----y M----e: written during her travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa, to persons of distinction, men of letters, &c. in different parts of Europe. Which contain among other curious relations, accounts of the policy and manners o the Turks; Drawn from Sources that have been inaccessible to other Travellers. A New Edition. To which are now first added, Poems, by the same Author. In two volumes. Vol. I [-II].
London, Cadell, 1784.
New Edition. Two volumes, 8vo, pp. ix, [i], [ii] Advertisement of the Editor, 220; [iv], 272, small piece torn from the margin of II, 33, in contemporary tree calf, gilt border to covers, flat spines elaborately gilt in compartments, red labels lettered in gilt and red oval numbering pieces set in green morocco labels, gilt, with the contemporary heraldic bookplates of Robert Hunter of Thurston and the later booklabel of Douglas Grant.
A very handsome copy of this scarce edition of Mary Wortley Montagu’s seminal travelogue, first published in 1763. The preface, by Mary Astell (1666-1731), was… (more)
A very handsome copy of this scarce edition of Mary Wortley Montagu’s seminal travelogue, first published in 1763. The preface, by Mary Astell (1666-1731), was composed in 1724 for Montagu’s manuscript letters.
‘Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s husband was appointed ambassador to the Porte in 1716, and she accompanied him to Constantinople. During her sojourn in Turkey she recorded her observations and experiences in a journal (destroyed after her death) which provided material for her actual letters to her friends, of which only a few survive, and for the series of 52 letters which she composed a few years after her return to England. These are not actual letters, though headed and dated close to the dates of real letters. The form is partly fiction but provides the substance of her life abroad and her opinions on Turkish life and customs ‘ (Blackmer).
ESTC t66781; Rothschild 1452; Blackmer 1150.More details Price: £300.00
Lord Dun’s Friendly and Familiar Advices,
Adapted to the various Stations and Conditions of Life, and the mutual Relations to be observed amongst them.
Edinburgh, Hamilton & Balfour, 1754.
First Edition, First Issue, with p. viii misnumbered vii. 12mo, pp. vii, (ie viii), 243, in contemporary mottled calf, spine with raised bands, simply gilt in compartments with red morocco label lettered in gilt, with the contemporary heraldic bookplate of Inglis of Cramond and the manuscript shelfmark ‘Calder House 7.E.’ on the front pastedown and the ownership inscription ‘Cramond’ on the title page.
An attractive copy with a nice Scottish provenance of this famous handbook of legal and general advice to those in different stations in life. The… (more)
An attractive copy with a nice Scottish provenance of this famous handbook of legal and general advice to those in different stations in life. The first part of the work contains specific legal advice to different ranks of lawyers and parties engaged in law suits. After this is a section on ‘Advice to the Monarch’ which is followed by ‘Advice to the Subject’. Further sections are addressed to ministers of state, the landed gentry, the man of wealth, the poor and indigent, the merchant, tradesman, farmer and more general advice to husbands and wives, parents and children, old and young, masters and servants, rich and poor. This is the only known publication by the Jacobite judge David Erskine, generally known under his judicial designation, Lord Dun. An eminent member of the Scottish bar, he was also a jealous Jacobite and friend to the non-jurant episcopal clergy. As a member of the last Scottish parliament, he was ardently opposed to the union.
ESTC notes another issue (t193481), with p. viii correctly numbered and with the amended imprint ‘for G. Hamilton and J. Balfour’. Scarcer than the present issue, it is listed at Aberdeen, Cambridge, NLS and DLC only. Curiously, this copy has a stub before the title page, suggesting a cancel, but given that it has the earlier states of the two pages, it may be more likely that an initial blank has been cut away.
Provenance: Sir John Inglis of Cramond, 2nd Baronet (1683-1771), Postmaster General for Scotland.