- Tag = English Literature
upon Several Occasions: Consisting of Original Poems, by the late Duke of Buckingham, Mr. Cowley, Mr. Milton, Mr. Prior, Mrs. Behn, Mr. Tho. Brown, &c. And the Translations from Horace, Persius, Petronius Arbiter, &c. With an Essay on Satyr, by the famous Mr. Dacier. Licens’d May 21. 1692.
London, Peter Buck, 1692.
First Edition. 8vo, (172 x 100mm), pp. [xxxii], 112, in contemporary red morocco, double filet border to covers, central panel gilt, with gilt fleurons at the corners and small oval floral tooling at the mid-point of the panels, some rubbing, unlettered spine simply ruled in gilt, with the booklabel of J.O. Edwards.
A handsome copy in red morocco of one of the most interesting poetical miscellanies of the late seventeenth century. This collection marks the poetical debut… (more)
A handsome copy in red morocco of one of the most interesting poetical miscellanies of the late seventeenth century. This collection marks the poetical debut of William Congreve, at the age of twenty-two. His contributions include two imitations of Horace, a Pindaric ode called ‘Upon a Lady’s Singing’, addressed to the well-known soprano, Arabella Hunt, and two songs, ‘The Message’ and ‘The Decay’, signed only with initials. Also of particular interest are three poems by Aphra Behn, all printed here for the first time: ‘On a Conventicle’, ‘Venus and Cupid’ and ‘Verses design’d by Mrs. A. Behn, to be sent to a fair lady, that desir’d she would absent herself, to cure her love’, the last one being ‘left unfinished’.
This is one of the earliest productions of Charles Gildon, at the start of his long and productive, if sometimes controversial, literary career. His own contributions include the translation from Dacier, two poems addressed ‘To Syliva’, an imitation of Perseus and a ten-page dedication to Cardell Goodman, a prominent and wealthy actor, who Gildon clearly had in his sights as a patron. ‘As to the book, Sir, I present you with, I am extreamly satisfy’d to know, that it is a present worth your acceptance; for I may say that there has scarce been a collection which visited the world, with fewer trifling verses in it. I except my own, which I had the more encouragement to print now, since I had so good an opportunity of making so large an attonement, with the wit of others for my dulness, and that I hope will chiefly excuse them to you, as well as convince the world of the real value I have for you, when it sees me prefix your name to no vulgar book, of my own composing, but to one that ows [sic] its excellence to the generous contributions of my friends of undoubted wit’ (Epistle Dedicatory, p. xi).
ESTC r21564, predictably common in England, especially in Oxford and Cambridge, but fairly scarce in America: Folger, Harvard, Huntington, Newberry, Clark, Kansas, Texas and Yale.
Wing G733A; Case 197; O’Donnell, Aphra Behn, BB20.More details Price: £5,000.00
Original Poems on Several Occasions.
By Miss Whateley.
London, Dodsley, 1764.
First Edition. 8vo, (210 x 135mm), pp. 9, [i], 24 list of subscribers, 11-117, ,  contents, p. 78 misnumbered p. 87, some light browning, slightly sprung, in contemporary quarter sheep over marbled boards, lower joint cracked, front joint detached, with Lord Kilmorey’s ownership inscription on the title-page, the Esher heraldic bookplate and the booklabel of Jim Edwards.
The author’s first book, published when she was 26. The daughter of William Whateley, a gentleman farmer at Beoley in Worcestershire, Miss Whateley appears to… (more)
The author’s first book, published when she was 26. The daughter of William Whateley, a gentleman farmer at Beoley in Worcestershire, Miss Whateley appears to have had little formal education but she loved literature and began to write poetry at an early age, contributing poems to the Gentleman’s Magazine as early as 1759. These, and some other poems in manuscript, attracted the attention of some distinguished contemporaries including William Shenstone, William Woty and John Langhorne, who set in motion a scheme to publish a volume by subscription, to which Langhorne contributed some prefatory verses. The 24 page subscription list contains some 600 names, including Elizabeth Carter, Erasmus Darwin, Mrs. Delany and one Rev. Mr. J. Darwell, the man Miss Whateley was to marry. John Darwall, Vicar of Walsall, was also a poet as well as a composer. The husband and wife together ran a printing press and she wrote songs for his congregation which he set to music. They also had six children together, to add to his six from a previous marriage.
The collection includes a number of pastoral poems - ‘artless rural Verse’ as she describes her ‘Elegy Written in a Garden (pp. 56-59) - several odes and poems addressed to individuals as well as some poems reflecting contemporary debate such as that ‘Occasioned by reading some Sceptical Essays’ (pp. 53-55). The final poem in the collection balances the prefatory verses supplied by one of her patrons: ‘To the Rev. Mr. J. Langhorne, on reading his Visions of Fancy, &c.’. Also included is a poem addressed to her future husband: ‘Ode to Friendship. Inscribed to the Rev. Mr. J. Darwall’:
‘Hail! Friendship, Balm of ev’ry Woe!
From thy pure Source Enjoyments flow,
Which Death alone can end:
Tho’ Fortune’s adverse Gales arise,
Tho’ Youth, and Health, and Pleasure flies,
Unmov’d remains the Friend’ (p. 101).
With a seven page dedication to the Hon. Lady Wrottesley, at Perton. The contents leaf, printed as part of the last signature, is here bound at the end. In some copies it has been bound at the front. Despite the wear to the spine, this is an appealing copy in an attractive contemporary binding. A Dublin edition was published later the same year.
ESTC t90935.More details Price: £1,600.00
Barde du IIIe siècle. Poésies Galliques en vers Français, par P.M.L. Baour Lormian. Second Edition corrigée et augmentée.
Paris, Didot, 1804.
Second Edition of this translation. 12mo, pp. [vi], 288, text lightly foxed, in contemporary polished calf (almost cat’s paw), gilt borders to covers, flat spine gilt in compartments with black morocco label lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt dentelles, gilt edges, with a bookplate removed from the intitial blank.
Second edition of this translation of MacPherson’s Ossian poems, first published as Poésies Galliques en vers français, Paris 1801. A note before the text, signed… (more)
Second edition of this translation of MacPherson’s Ossian poems, first published as Poésies Galliques en vers français, Paris 1801. A note before the text, signed by the printers Capelle and Renand, state that they will take any printer or seller of pirated editions of this work, to court. Baour Lormian’s translation was certainly popular; even apart from any piracies, a fifth edition was published in 1827. With a dedication to Joseph Despaze, reading simply ‘Vous aimez Ossian: recevez ce travail comme un témoignage de mon estime et de mon amitié’. An attractive copy in a slightly snazzy binding.
OCLC lists the National Library of Scotland, California State, Harvard, Bowdoin and South Carolina.
See Cioranescu 9341.More details Price: £450.00
Oxford Prize Poems:
Being a Collection of such English Poems as have at Various Times obtained Prizes in the University of Oxford.
Oxford, J. Parker [&c.], 1807.
First Collected Edition. 12mo (157 x 90 mm), pp. [vi], 106, -22,  manuscript poem, written in ink in a contemporary hand on the recto of the pages only, the title written in portrait and the rest of the poem written in landscape across the pages, with a half title ‘Oxford Prize Poems’, in contemporary red straight-grained morocco, quadruple gilt filet border, the inner two being dotted lines with interleaved curves at the centre of each side, spine gilt in compartments, lettered in gilt, dark green silk moire endpapers, gilt edges, with the later ownership inscription (in purple crayon) of J. Raymond Barker of Fairford Park in Gloucestershire, with a loosely inserted newspaper cutting of a poem, ‘Stonehenge’, by Thomas Stokes Salmon of Brasenose College.
A delightful copy in red morocco of this collection of seven Oxford University prize poems, together with a manuscript copy of an eighth prize poem.… (more)
A delightful copy in red morocco of this collection of seven Oxford University prize poems, together with a manuscript copy of an eighth prize poem. Oxford Prize Poems includes ‘The conquest of Quebec: a prize poem, recited in the theatre, Oxford, in the year MDCCLXVIII’ by Middleton Howard of Wadham College; ‘The love of our country: a prize poem, recited in the theatre, Oxford, in the year MDCCLXXI’ by Christopher Butson of New College; ‘Beneficial effects of inoculation: a prize poem, recited in the theatre, Oxford, in the year MDCCLXXII’ by William Lipscomb of Corpus Christi College; ‘The aboriginal Britons: a prize poem, recited in the theatre, Oxford, in the year MDCCXCI’ by George Richards of Oriel College; ‘Palestine: a prize poem, recited in the theatre, Oxford, in the year MDCCCIII’ by Reginald Heber of Brazen-Nose College and ‘A recommendation of the study of the remains of ancient Grecian and Roman architecture, sculpture, and painting: a prize poem, recited in the theatre, Oxford, in the year MDCCCVI’ by John Wilson of Magdalen College. Bound after the work is another printed prize poem, separately issued and frequently but not always found with this collection: Moses, under the direction of Divine Providence, conducting the Children of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land; a Prize Poem, recited in the Theatre, Oxford, in the Year MDCCCVII, by Matthew Rolleston (1788?-1817) of University College.
The volume concludes with a manuscript copy of a ‘Travels of Discovery into the interior of Africa. A Prize Poem recited in the Theatre, Oxford, in the year 1806, by Henry Allen Johnson, of Christ Church. Following the manuscript title, which is given in portrait, the poem is written in landscape format, across the page. It is written in iambic pentameter and begins, ‘Afric, to thee, while bursting from on high / Hope pours her radiance on thy tear full eye; / To thee I sing.’ The poem is known in other manuscript copies but does not appear to have been published.More details Price: £750.00
Padhre na Moulh,
ou le Mendiant des Ruines, Roman Irlandais par M. Banim. Traduit de l’Anglais par M. A.-J.-B. Defauconpret, Traducteur des romans historiques de Sir Walter Scott. Tome Premier [-Second].
Paris, Gosselin, 1829.
First Edition in French. Two volumes, 12mo, (162 x 96mm), pp. [iv], 234; [iv], 216, in contemporary quarter sheep over diagonally striped grey boards, vellum tips, spines ruled, numbered and lettered in gilt, edges sprinkled, with Anthony Surtees’ bookplate.
The scarce first edition in French of John Banim’s novel, Peter of the Castle, first published in Dublin in 1826. The translation is by the… (more)
The scarce first edition in French of John Banim’s novel, Peter of the Castle, first published in Dublin in 1826. The translation is by the travel writer and anglophile Auguste-Jean-Baptiste Defauconpret, now mostly remembered as the translator of Walter Scott’s novels.
‘The Banims may be justly called the first national novelists of Ireland... Their ambition was to do for Ireland what Scott, by his Waverley Novels, had done for Scotland — to make their countrymen known with their national traits and national customs and to give a true picture of the Irish character with its bright lights and deep shadows’ (Mathew Flaherty, The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York 1907).
OCLC lists Trinity College Dublin and Brigham Young only. The British Library also has a copy.
See Block p. 13; not in Sadleir.
Paul and Virginia.
Translated from the French of Bernardin Saint-Pierre; by Helen Maria Williams, author of Letters on the French Revolution, Julia a Novel, Poems, &c.
Paris, John Hurford Stone, 1795.
First Edition of this Translation. 8vo, pp. [ii], viii, , 9-274, with six stipple engraved plates, by Lingée, Lefebvre and Clément, two after designs by Dutailly, tissue guards to all but one of the plates, some scattered foxing, the text printed on mixed stock, much of which is slightly blue-tinted and watermarked ‘P Lentaigne’, occasional light spotting, small marginal hole on D1, one gathering sprung, in contemporary calf, worn at extremities, head and foot of spine chipped, roll tool border to covers within double fillet gilt, corner fleurons and circles gilt, flat spine gilt in compartments, blue morocco label lettered in gilt, both covers badly scratched, with bright marbled endpapers and gilt edges.
An elegant if slightly damaged copy of the scarce first edition of Helen Maria Williams’ translation of Saint-Pierre’s best-selling Paul et Virginie. This English translation… (more)
An elegant if slightly damaged copy of the scarce first edition of Helen Maria Williams’ translation of Saint-Pierre’s best-selling Paul et Virginie. This English translation was also to prove enormously popular, with many printings in England, but this first appearance, thought to have been printed in Paris at the English press of Williams’ lover, John Hurford Stone, is scarce. Additionally, this copy includes the suite of six engraved plates, found only in a few copies.
In 1792, two years after her first visit to Paris, Helen Maria Williams returned to live there permanently. Her salon on the rue Helvétius became a meeting place not only for her Girondist circle but also for a large number of British, American and Irish radicals, writers and public figures, including Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Paine, Joel Barlow and Charles James Fox. It was at this time that she became involved with John Hurford Stone (1763-1818), a radical English coal dealer who was working as a printer in Paris. Their involvement caused huge scandal in England, as Stone was married. He divorced his wife in 1794 and it may be that he was married to Williams in the same year. On October 11th, 1793, during tea with Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Williams had learnt that all British citizens in France were to be arrested, following the French defeat at Toulon. The next day she and her family were taken to the Luxembourg prison where they stayed until 26th October, when they were moved to the English Conceptionist Convent, otherwise known as the Couvent des Anglaises. It was here that Williams began this translation. She was released in April of the following year on the condition that she left Paris: she and Stone went together to Switzerland until they were able to return to Paris in 1795, when Stone printed the completed work.
Of the copies listed in ESTC, only three copies, Virginia, Morgan and Penn have the plates, although the BN copy also has the plates. Of the Morgan copy, John Bidwell writes in their catalogue: ‘Given the French origins of the paper, type, plates, and binding, and the quality of the typesetting, this edition was printed in Paris, almost certainly at the English press of the expatriate radical John Hurford Stone, who was living with Helen Maria Williams at the time. Cf. Madeleine B. Stern, “The English Press in Paris and its successors,” PBSA 74 (1980): 307-89’. Adding another level to the interchange of nationalities in this edition, although French, the type was of English origin, being cast from Baskerville’s punches by the Dépôt des caractères de Baskerville in Paris, established by Beaumarchais in 1791 and closed c.1795–6. Beaumarchais, a great admirer of Baskerville, purchased the bulk of the Birmingham printer’s punches from his widow after his death (John Dreyfus, ‘The Baskerville punches 1750–1950’, The Library, 5th series 5 (1951), 26–48).
‘The following translation of Paul and Virginia was written at Paris, amidst the horrors of Robespierre’s tyranny. During that gloomy epocha, it was difficult to find occupations which might cheat the days of calamity of their weary length... In this situation I gave myself the task of employing a few hours every day in translating the charming little novel... and I found the most soothing relief in wandering from my own gloomy reflections to those enchanting scenes of the Mauritius, which he has so admirably described... the public will perhaps receive with indulgence a work written under such peculiar circumstances; not composed in the calm of literary leisure, or in pursuit of literary fame; but amidst the turbulence of the most cruel sensations, and in order to escape from overwhelming misery’ (Preface, signed Helen Maria Williams, Paris, June, 1795).
ESTC t131741, listing BL, Bodleian, Wisbech; Cornell, Harvard, Morgan, Penn, Princeton, Smith College, Toronto, UCLA, Chicago, Illinois, Virginia and Yale.
Cohen-de Ricci 932 (calling for only 5 plates); no details given in Garside, Raven & Schöwerling, see note on HMW’s translation in 1788:71.More details Price: £3,000.00
Peter’s Letters to his Kinsfolk.
The Second Edition. Volume the First [-Third].
Edinburgh, Blackwood, 1819.
First Edition. (though styled the second, as part of the satire). Three volumes, 8vo, engraved portrait frontispiece to the first volume and pp. xv, [i], [v]-viii, 64, 61-333; viii, 363; ix, [i], 351, ,  advertsisements, thirteen further engraved plates and one part-page illustration of a Glasgow steam-boat (III, 351), some offsetting and very occasional spotting, in contemporary russia, gilt and blind border to covers, spines gilt in compartments, lettered and numbered in gilt, marbled endpapers and edges, gilt dentelles, with the heraldic bookplate of Westport House (Co. Mayo) in each volume.
An excellent copy of Lockhart’s whimsical tour de force, a satirical picture of Scotland presented as a series of letters from the fictional Dr. Peter… (more)
An excellent copy of Lockhart’s whimsical tour de force, a satirical picture of Scotland presented as a series of letters from the fictional Dr. Peter Morris, a portrait of whose dignified features stands as frontispiece to the first volume, to his kinsman in Wales, the Reverend David Williams. Alongside this non-existence of the letters’ author and recipient, the whole presentation of Lockhart’s work is jocular, with its ‘Epistle Liminary to the Second Edition’, in which the author specifies minute instructions for the publishing of this ‘second’ edition as a joint venture between Cadell and Davies and William Blackwood: ‘The First Edition being but a coarse job, and so small withal, I did not think of him’ and wishing to discuss Peter’s Letters from Italy and Germany with the publisher. Another little bibliographical joke is the final page of advertisements in the third volume, giving an imaginary list of ‘Works by the Same Author’.
The text gives a detailed view of the Edinburgh of the day: the prominent men and women of the city, the clergy, the booksellers, the dandies; the courts, the coffee-rooms, the balls, dinner parties, dancing and social life; the university versus the English universities; the novels, the buildings, the ladies’ dress; the philosophers, the wits and the blue-stockings. ‘We can hardly be too grateful for so bold and skilful a picture of the social life of the age’ (J.H. Millar, A Literary History of Scotland, pp. 518-519). The writing capitalises on the intimacy of the letter form and no attempt is made to spare any of the dignitaries mentioned. Inevitably, Lockhart’s book caused more than its share of offence, ‘especially to the Whigs, by its personalities, and perhaps, as Scott said, by its truth’ (DNB).
by J. Aikin, M.D.
London, J. Johnson, 1791.
First Edition. 8vo, (195 x 113 mm), pp. x, 136, some scattered foxing in the text, in contemporary calf, spine simply ruled in gilt with red morocco label lettered in gilt, front joint just beginning to crack, some wear to extremities and light fading on the covers.
A collection of poems by the physician, dissenter and writer John Aikin, printed by his friend Joseph Johnson. Aikin spent his early career as a… (more)
A collection of poems by the physician, dissenter and writer John Aikin, printed by his friend Joseph Johnson. Aikin spent his early career as a surgeon but when he found this unprofitable he turned to medicine, gained a degree at Leiden and established a medical practice in Norfolk where his sister, Anna Letitia Barbauld, the renowned educationalist, lived. Two of the poems in this collection, including the opening poem, are addressed to her. Aikin’s time in Norfolk was dogged by divisions between the dissenters and the established church. Among his circle, most of those who shared his literary tastes were on the side of the Church of England but Aikin, who felt keenly the injustice of excluding dissenters from office, published two pamphlets in 1790 in which he put forward a case for toleration. Although the pamphlets were published anonymously, Aikin’s authorship was widely known and it was largely this, as well as his public support of the French revolution, that lost him the support of most of his friends and patients and made his professional life in Norfolk unsustainable.
It was at this low point, largely ostracised for his dissenting views and before his successful move to London in 1792, that Aikin published these poems. In the preface he explained that mixed with the more general poems are a few that may not meet with impartial judgement. ‘They will certainly meet with as decided a condemnation from one set of readers, as they can possibly obtain applause from another... with a mind strongly impressed with determined opinions on some of the most important topics that actuate mankind, I could not rest satisfied without attempting to employ (as far as I possessed it) the noblest of arts, in the service of the noblest of causes’ (pp. iii-iv).
Aikin’s daugher and biographer, Lucy Aikin, described his move to London as ‘a blessed change’, as the dissenters there welcomed him as ‘a kind of confessor in the cause’ (Aikin, Memoir of John Aikin, 1823, p. 152). In 1796 he became literary editor of the Monthly Magazine, he also wrote for the Monthly Review and edited The Athenaeum for a while. His circle of friends there included Erasmus Darwin, John Howard, the philanthropist (whose biography he wrote and whose death is commemorated by a poem in this collection), Robert Southey, Thomas Pennant and the radical publisher Joseph Johnson. Aikin also wrote Johnson’s obituary for the Gentleman’s Magazine.
Poems on Various Subjects
by Robert Ferguson. In two parts.
Paisley, Neilson, 1796.
18mo, (130 x 78mm), pp. iv, -226,  contents, text fairly browned in part, in contemporary calf, foot of spine chipped, rubbed on extremities but sound, with the ownership inscription of ‘Robert Whyte, Pewterer, 1802, Volm 24’.
A scarce posthumous edition of Fergusson’s Poems on Various Subjects, first published in 1773. It was shortly after the publication of these poems that Fergusson… (more)
A scarce posthumous edition of Fergusson’s Poems on Various Subjects, first published in 1773. It was shortly after the publication of these poems that Fergusson started suffering depression. He then, in falling down a flight of stairs, suffered a serious blow to his head from which his reason and his health never recovered. He died in the Edinburgh Bedlam in the following year, aged 24. His poetry was later made popular by Robert Burns, who saw in him his own precursor. In 1787 Burns erected a momument at Fergusson’s grave in Canongate Kirkyard, commemorating him as ‘Scotia’s Poet’.
In the same year, Smith of Paisley also printed Fergusson’s The Ghaists: a kirk-yard eclogue (ESTC t184779, at NLS only).
ESTC n24650, at NLS, Bodleian, Columbia and Huntington only.
or, Varieties of Character and Opinion. In two volumes. By the author of “Geraldine”, &c. &c. Vol. I [-II].
London, Cadell, 1829.
First Edition. Two volumes, 8vo, pp. [iv], 361, ; [iv], 391, , with the half-titles and a final advertisement leaf in Vol. II, in contemporary half black calf over marbled boards, spines gilt and blind-locked in compartments, red morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, extremities a little rubbed but a good copy, with the contemporary ownership inscription ‘Beatrice Mildred from her Mother, 1829’.
An elegant society novel by an obscure Scottish writer, author of at least one other novel, Geraldine, or Modes of Faith and Practice, London 1820.… (more)
An elegant society novel by an obscure Scottish writer, author of at least one other novel, Geraldine, or Modes of Faith and Practice, London 1820. Private Life, a readable tale of the rising middle class and a young woman’s experience of it, enjoyed considerable popularity, running to second and third editions (in 1830 and 1835) as well as a New York edition of 1829.
Garside, Raven & Schöwerling 1829:57; Wolff 4346; not in Sadleir.More details Price: £400.00
Recollections of an Excursion
to the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha. By the author of “Vathek”.
London, Bentley, 1835.
First Edition. 8vo, (213 x 128mm), frontispiece portrait and pp. [iii]-xi, [i], 228, bound without the half title, in contemporary half calf over brown and cream marbled boards, spine simply ruled in gilt with label lettered in gilt: the headcap and top section (up to 17mm) of the spine missing, marbled endpapers, inscribed on the initial blank ‘? Goldsworthy March 1842... This Book is the property of Mrs Goldsworthy’ and with the later booklabel of Philip O’Riordan Smiley, with bookseller’s order form loosely inserted.
One of Beckford’s most readable and entertaining works, his Recollections of an Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha is an idealised compression of… (more)
One of Beckford’s most readable and entertaining works, his Recollections of an Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha is an idealised compression of several visits to Portugal into one single twelve-day journey, based on diary notes made during a visit in 1794 - a trip during which he did not actually visit Batalha at all. However, it was his visits to Batalha which enchanted him and which inspired him in his designs for Fonthill Abbey, even though his impressions were not published until so many years after the event.
‘[Beckford’s] Recollections of an Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha is a charming, heavily humorous concoction... some biographers rate this short piece as his finest writing, and it is indeed a delightful evocation of a lost world, authentic in detail even if contrived in construction’ (Timothy Mowl, William Beckford: Composing for Mozart, 1998, pp. 217-300).
This copy has a piece of leather missing from the top of the spine, which rather mars its looks. Curiously, it contains an amusing piece of its history in the quotation sheet from a previous sale which is loosely inserted. ‘This is the best I have been able to find so far’, writes John Lyle, New and Second-hand Bookseller, to P. O’R. Smiley, Esq, of Victoria House, Ampleforth, Yorks. ‘Indeed, the only one. If you wish me to buy it for you, please reply at once to make sure of securing it’. Evidently, Philip O’Riordan, who was Head of Classics at Ampleforth College, replied in time to secure the volume, as it bears his booklabel. It set him back the princely sum of £3 post free.
By the author of Brambletye House, The Tor Hill, &c. In three volumes. Vol. I [-III].
London, Colburn, 1827.
First Edition. Three volumes, 8vo, pp. viii, 340, [ii], 369; [ii], 392; half-title present in the first volume only, in a striking contemporary binding of half pale calf over marbled boards, the boards slightly rubbed, spines gilt in compartments with two red morocco labels on each spine, lettered and numbered in gilt, endpapers and edges marbled in brown and blue, with the booksellers ticket of Poole and Harding, Chester and the later contemporary ownership inscription of ‘Hugill’.
A very handsome copy of the third of Horace Smith’s popular historical novels. A friend of Shelley and Leigh Hunt and co-author, with his brother… (more)
A very handsome copy of the third of Horace Smith’s popular historical novels. A friend of Shelley and Leigh Hunt and co-author, with his brother James, of a brilliant book of parodies, Rejected Addresses, published in 1812, Horace Smith wrote numerous novels, all of which, including the present one, were strongly influenced by Walter Scott.
Sadleir, XIX Century Fiction, 3107; not in Wolff, who lists most of his other novels.More details Price: £450.00
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.… (more)
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.
St. Margaret's Cave:
or, the Nun’s Story. An Ancient Legend. In four volumes. By Elizabeth Helme, author of Albert, Farmer of Inglewood Forest, Louisa, &c. &c. Vol. I [-IV].
London, Earle and Hemet, 1801.
First Edition. Four volumes, 12mo, (168 x 101mm), pp. xxviii, , -260; [iv], 294; [iv], 296; [iv], 320, with the half-titles, in contemporary green half calf over pink mottled boards, flat spines divided into compartments with triple gilt rules, lettered and numbered in gilt directly onto the spine, corners bumped and extremities a little worn, the top of the front board of vol. IV slightly crushed and upper compartment of spine a little dented, some sun bleaching to the colour on the boards, probably bound on the continent, from the Starhremberg library.
A very attractive copy of a scarce gothic novel by Elizabeth Helme, said by Janet Todd to be her most successful romance. A leading Minerva… (more)
A very attractive copy of a scarce gothic novel by Elizabeth Helme, said by Janet Todd to be her most successful romance. A leading Minerva novelist, Helme didn’t write predominantly in the gothic genre, but in this tale she experiments with it and follows Ann Radcliffe into the middle ages. The narrative is presented as an ancient manuscript chronicle of events that took place in fifteenth century Northumberland, Bremen and Denmark. At the centre of the plot is the attempt to establish Margaret as the legitimate daughter and rightful heir of Sir William Fitzwalter. This is eventually achieved through the help of the Austin, the Franciscan hermit who lives in St. Margaret’s cave, which is connected to Castle Fitzwalter by secret subterranean passages.
Following the triumphant success of Helme’s Louisa, or the Cottage on the Moor, 1787, which was a best-seller in England and on the continent, St. Margaret’s Cave was published in French as La Caverne de Sainte-Marguerite, Paris 1803 and in German as Die Margarethenhöle oder die Nonnenerzählung, Berlin 1803. A second edition was published by the Minerva Press in 1819.
As well as the obvious influence of Ann Radclife, it is interesting that Janet Todd also speaks of the influence of Restif de la Bretonne’s narratives and William Godwin’s philosophy. ‘Although derivative of other writers, such as Radcliffe and Marivaux, she tells her tales well and smoothly, and her conventional plots, of fair maids, noble sons, hidden identities and aristocratic property rights, hold the reader’s interest without much recourse to suspense and horror’ (Janet Todd, Dictionary of British and American Women Writers, p. 160).
‘[Elizabeth Helme’s] interest centres in personal morality and its relationship with class and wealth; her women are often spirited and independent-minded’ (Feminist Companion to Literature in English).
Garside, Raven & Schöwerling 1801: 32; Summers p. 493; Block, p. 101.More details Price: £4,800.00
Tales of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries.
From the French of Mr. Le Grand. Vol. I [-II].
London, Egerton, Hookham, Kearsley, Robinson, Bew and Sewel, 1786.
First Edition in English. Two volumes. 12mo, (167 x 90 mm), pp. [iv] xxxii, 239; [ii], -8 advertisments, 240, small stains intermittently, Vol. II’s last leaf has small hole and missing a letter on each side, possibly wanting the half-titles, contemporary half calf, lettering pieces red and green with remaining compartments gilt, final 2 Tales with manuscript notes by a contemporary reader (The Physician of Brai identified in the latter as the source of Fielding’s The Mock Doctor), slightly cropped inscription.
The scarce first English edition of Fabliaux ou contes du XIIe et du XIIIe siècle, Paris 1779, compiled and edited by Legrand d’Aussy, conservator of… (more)
The scarce first English edition of Fabliaux ou contes du XIIe et du XIIIe siècle, Paris 1779, compiled and edited by Legrand d’Aussy, conservator of French manuscripts in the Bibliothèque nationale. The work consists of 37 ‘original stories, serious and comic’ taken from French legends and, as such, presenting a very different impression on the English reader, who would have been introduced for the first time to many of the tales (although some, notably the Arthurian tales, would have been well enough known). The work is prefaced by a longish essay by the anonymous translator on the origin and nature of legend and fables. The tales are accompanied by explanations of what is known about each story and where it has been reworked: ‘with an account of the imitations and uses that have since been made of them, by Bocasse [Boccacio], Molière, Bossuet, La Fontaine, Racine, Corneille, Voltaire, Rousseau, and other modern authors’ (advertisement).
Samuel Badcock wrote in the Monthly Review: ‘These Tales shock probability. We cannot realise many of the incidents, yet they discover a vigorous and wild imagination. They awaken curiosity; and as they are generally short, they are seldom tedious: and we easily suffer ourselves to be carried away by the pleasing illusion into the land of inchantment [sic]’ (MR 76 p. 61).
ESTC t160021, at BL, NLW, Columbia and Rice; OCLC adds Yale, Claremont and Ohio.
MMF 1786:31.More details Price: £3,500.00
The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom.
By the Author of Roderick Random... In two volumes. Vol. I. [-II].
London, Johnston, 1753.
First Edition. Two volumes, 12mo, (164 x 95 mm), pp. [ii], 262; [ii], viii, 315, the dedication misbound at the start of the second volume, in contemporary speckled calf, double filet gilt to boards, spines attractively gilt in compartments, red morocco labels lettered in gilt, numbered in gilt on the spines, red speckled edges, with Thomas Salwey’s armorial bookplate in both volumes.
A handsome copy of Smollett’s popular romance about the dastardly villain and self-styled count, Ferdinand. This is one of two 1753 editions, the other with… (more)
A handsome copy of Smollett’s popular romance about the dastardly villain and self-styled count, Ferdinand. This is one of two 1753 editions, the other with ‘T.’ Johnson in the imprint, also ‘at the Golden Ball in St. Paul’s Church-Yard’. This is not a rare book, but it is uncommon in this fresh condition.
Raven 192; ESTC t55294.More details Price: £1,800.00
The Diary of the late George Bubb Dodington,
Baron of Melcombe Regis: from March 8, 1748-9, to February 6, 1761. With an Appendix, containing some Curious and Interesting Papers; Which are either referred to, or alluded to, in the Diary. Now first published from his Lordship’s original manuscripts. By Henry Penruddocke Wyndham.
Dublin, William Porter, 1784.
First Dublin Edition. 12mo, xiv, 346, in contemporary calf, joints cracking at head of spine, red morocco label lettered in gilt, with the contemporary heraldic bookplate of John Wallis.
Dodington left all his property to his cousin, Thomas Wyndham of Hammersmith, who in turn left it all to Henry Penruddocke Wyndham. In addition to… (more)
Dodington left all his property to his cousin, Thomas Wyndham of Hammersmith, who in turn left it all to Henry Penruddocke Wyndham. In addition to the diary, it included a vast collection of Dodington’s private correspondence. Wyndham, a native of Compton Chamberlayne near Salisbury, also published a translation of the entries for Wiltshire in the Domesday Book, hoping that it might pave the way for a more general history of Wiltshire, for which he put up some money.
ESTC t144754.More details Price: £120.00
The Fables of John Dryden,
ornamented with Engravings from the pencil of the Right Hon. Lady Diana Beauclerc.
London, T. Bensley for J. Edwards, 1797.
First Editions. Folio, (370 x 257mm), pp. [iv], xviii, 241, with nine engraved plates and fourteen part page engravings; engraved frontispiece and pp. [vii], [i], 35, , with four further engraved plates and four part page engravings, in parallel text, most of the paper guards still present at the plates, in a contemporary Irish black goatskin binding, gilt border to covers, spine gilt in compartments, lettered in gilt, extremities rubbed, contemporary inscription on the title page ‘W. Maguire’, the binding by George Mullen of Dublin, with his ticket.
A good copy in an Irish binding of these two works lavishly illustrated by Lady Diana Beauclerk. The daughter of Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of… (more)
A good copy in an Irish binding of these two works lavishly illustrated by Lady Diana Beauclerk. The daughter of Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough, Lady Di, as she was known, suffered two miserable marriages, the first to Frederick St. John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke, during which they were both notoriously unfaithful, and the second to Topham Beauclerk (1739-1780), the great-grandson of Nell Gwyn and Charles II. Beauclerk was a close friend of Dr. Johnson and was known for his brilliant conversation, but he was also famous for his ill-humour and lack of personal hygiene: Fanny Burney recorded Edmund Burke’s reaction to the death of Beauclerk: ‘I never, myself, so much enjoyed the sight of happiness in another, as in that woman when I first saw her after the death of her husband’.
‘During [the years following her divorce] Lady Diana's artistic talents became particularly evident: she practised portraiture, and her enormous output of small drawings of fat cupids entangled in branches of grapes and little girls wearing mob caps gave place to larger and more ambitious groups of peasantry introduced into landscaped backgrounds. She worked chiefly in pen and ink, pastel, and watercolour. Essentially a designer, she successfully executed seven large panels in ‘soot ink’ (black wash), mounted on Indian blue damask and illustrating Horace Walpole's tragedy The Mysterious Mother. Apt to overrate her skills, Walpole placed these at Strawberry Hill in a specially designed hexagonal room named the Beauclerc closet. At the same time he opined absurdly that ‘Salvator Rosa and Guido could not surpass their expression and beauty’ (Anecdotes of Painting, 24.524). Lady Diana also enjoyed the patronage of Josiah Wedgwood, probably from 1785, when her designs, mostly those of laughing bacchanalian boys, were translated as bas-reliefs onto jasper ornaments, plates, and jugs; they proved to be enormously popular. In 1796 she illustrated the English translation of G. A. Burger's ballad Leonora and in 1797 The Fables of John Dryden; in both cases her illustrations were engraved mostly by Francesco Bartolozzi’ (ODNB). The other engravings in the Dryden are by Vandenberg, Cheeseman and Gardiner.
ESTC t128162; t93829.More details Price: £800.00
The Favorite Village A Poem.
First Edition. 4to (260 x 200 mm), pp. [vi], 210, in contemporary full calf, flat spine elaborately gilt in compartments, black morocco label lettered in gilt, some slight splitting to joints but generally a handsome copy, with the contemporary armorial bookplate of Henry Studdy and the later decorative booklabel of John Rayner.
A lovely copy of this privately printed poem by a Sussex clergyman, who was a professor of poetry at Oxford and a fellow of Magdalen… (more)
A lovely copy of this privately printed poem by a Sussex clergyman, who was a professor of poetry at Oxford and a fellow of Magdalen College. Hurdis set up his own printing press at his house in Bishopstone, near Seaford in Sussex, in 1796, from where he printed selections from his own lectures and poems. The Favorite Village is thought to be his best work and is a panegyric to Bishopstone, the village where he was born and where he eventually became the vicar. It is a nostalgic eulogy to the village, set within the framework of nature and the seasons and much influenced by the poetry of Cowper and Thomson.
ESTC t35451; Jackson p. 242.More details Price: £900.00
The First Sitting
of the Committee on the Proposed Monument to Shakspeare. Carefully taken in Short-Hand by Zachary Craft, Amanuensis to the Chairman.
Cheltenham, G.A. Williams, 1823.
First Edition. Small 8vo, (155 x 93 mm), pp. 88, , in contemporary marbled boards with green cloth spine, printed paper label on front board: a little dusty and slightly worn at extremities but a good copy.
Attributed to the architect and traveller Charles Kelsall, this is an entertaining fantasy arising from the proposal to erect a national monument to Shakespeare. Written… (more)
Attributed to the architect and traveller Charles Kelsall, this is an entertaining fantasy arising from the proposal to erect a national monument to Shakespeare. Written in the form of a play, it is set in the green-room at midnight, where the committee take their seats around a long table. As they prepare to begin their meeting, there is a peal of thunder and a ball of fire rends one of the walls, through which appears the shade of Aristotle, who addresses the committee with his thoughts on Shakespeare. He is followed by many others, including Longinus, Aeschylus, Molière, Milton (blind), Dryden, Voltaire, Diderot, Johnson, Susanna Shakespeare, Frank Crib (owner of the Butcher’s Shop at Stratford-upon-Avon), Peter Ogee, an Architect of York, Obadiah Flagel, a Schoolmaster of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Samuel Grim, Plug-turner of the Pipes which supply the Theatre with Gas.More details Price: £400.00