- Tag = English Literature
or the Adventures of a Musical Drone. A Novel. In two Volumes. By the Rev. J. Thomson. Vol. I [-II].
Dublin, P. Wogan [&c.], 1794.
First Dublin Edition. Two volumes, 12mo (170 x 100 mm), pp. [iv], 312; [ii], 307, some browning and creasing in text, a couple of gatherings very slightly sprung, in contemporary mottled calf, flat spines pressed out a little where the lower raised band would have been, spines ruled in gilt with red morocco labels lettered in gilt, rubbed at extremities with the front joint of Vol. I slightly cracked, but generally a handsome copy.
A scarce comic novel by an obscure cleric from the Lake District whose literary output seems to have been confined to three novels which have… (more)
A scarce comic novel by an obscure cleric from the Lake District whose literary output seems to have been confined to three novels which have all but disappeared. He is known to have lived in Westmoreland, where he supported a large family on the proceeds of a small curacy and a school, but whether his income was notably supplemented by the success of his writings is unknown. His first publication was The Denial; or, the Happy Retreat, London 1790, which was sufficiently popular to run both to a Dublin and a second London printing (each of which is listed in ESTC in a couple of copies). The present novel, originally published in London in the previous year by the Robinsons, is a substantial work of fiction which first appeared in the unusual format of five volumes. The first edition is similarly scarce, with ESTC (n4436) listing copies in the BL, Bodleian (ESTC appears to have listed the five volumes as five copies) and Minnesota (OCLC adds Berkeley). A second edition was published by Lane and Newman (though not designated as the Minerva Press) in 1803. Thomson’s third and final novel, Winifred, a tale of wonder, only survives in a London edition of 1803 (not in ESTC, though the BL has a copy).
In the brief preface, Thomson describes the ‘two principle motives’ of fiction as being to amuse and instruct, suggesting that in combining the two in the present work, the more intelligent reader is likely to find but an ‘insipid entertainment’ in the ‘succession of incidents, and the narration of improbabilities, however surprizing, or however brilliant’ whereas he fears that other readers may find the moral reflections to be insipid. Contemporary reviewers seem to have focussed on the bizarre narrative structure and the humour rather than the moral and didactic passages. ‘He has published some novels of more ingenuity than morality’ concluded A Biographical Dictionary of Living Authors in 1816, whereas an earlier reviewer objected to the style of humour, comparing it to the less successful parts of Smollett’s writings: ‘Manners mistaken and misrepresented: conduct ridiculously absurd in characters laboured with the greatest care: adventures too improbable to amuse, and a vein of broad grotesque humour, of outré description, which Smollett introduced, and which his masterly hand could scarcely wield without exciting, at times, disgust. Under Mr. Thomson’s management, it is intolerable’ (Critical Review, 10: 472, April 1794).
See Garside, Raven & Schöwerling 1793:40; Block p. 235; not in Hardy.
ESTC t135341, at BL, Harvard & Library Company; OCLC adds NLS.More details Price: £3,000.00
Man as He Is.
A Novel. In four volumes. Volume I [-IV].
London, William Lane at the Minerva Press, 1792.
First Edition. Four Volumes, 12mo (c. 190 x 100-115 mm) pp. [iv], vii, [i], 288; [iv], 243,  advertisements; [iv], 275,  advertisements; [iv], 272, with the half-titles, small tear on I, 9, just touching text but with no loss, light dampstain in Vol. III, gathering B and some of C, small marginal tear without loss III, 275, uncut throughout in the original publisher’s boards with white paper backstrip, the blue boards fairly dusty, the spines considerably chipped but with enough remnants of spine to preserve most of the original ink numbering, some of the covers, particularly to Vol. IV, precariously attached, but holding, the front pastedowns all with a printed lending library slip as pastedown, completed in ink in a contemporary hand, with an early, possibly eighteenth century, playing card (9 of hearts) marking the page at IV, 153,
A delightful copy of what is generally considered to be Bage’s most accomplished novel. Uncut throughout and in the original boards, this copy comes from… (more)
A delightful copy of what is generally considered to be Bage’s most accomplished novel. Uncut throughout and in the original boards, this copy comes from the English reading society in Groningen. Each volume has for its front pastedown the printed lending library slip which reads, ‘No. __ / Sending Bill / of the English reading Society / Groningen the __ 17__’. A contemporary hand has completed as follows: ‘Man as he is Vol. 1 [-IV]. [No.] 23 Turn of Books. [the] 20th Jan 96’.
The first of Bage's two great novels, less well known than Hermsprong; or, Man as he is not, 1796 but thought by many (such as Tompkins, who calls it simply ‘Bage’s best book’) to be the better of the two. Bage, 'the most distinguished novelist ever connected with the Minerva Press', was a paper manufacturer from the midlands who wrote six novels, three of which were printed at the Minerva Press. Influenced by the ideas of the French revolution, his novels are satirical and revolutionary in tone and are reminiscent of the writings of William Godwin and Thomas Holcroft. Apart from his incisive satire of the social follies of the time, Bage must also be noted for the brilliant lightness of his perceptions of character, for 'that half-acid, half-tolerant revelation of the permanent foibles of human nature in which Bage anticipated Jane Austen' (Blakey p. 64).
According to the publisher's advertisement in The Star, June 26, 1792, Man as He Is 'has been pronounced the first-rate novel in the English language'. However, although three of Bage's earlier novels were included by Scott in Balantyne's Novelists' Library, he included neither Man as He Is nor Hermpsrong, objecting mainly to 'the mad philosophy'. Bage's political opinions were too extreme for Scott who objected to his tendency to locate virtue and generosity too exclusively in the lower classes. Bage also applied equal standards to men and women and his heroines enjoy a measure of sexual as well as intellectual freedom. All of which made the novels too subversive for Scott, whose censorial selection procedures may have done their bit to keep Bage out of the main-stream.
'In their keen perception of the absurdities of society, and their shrewd strokes of character, Bage's novels are far superior to the common run of Minerva publications. The whole tone of his work, also, is particularly refreshing after the inflated sentiment or perfervid horrors of young ladies and their 'first literary attempts', for Bage had a vigorous and original mind, packed only with first-hand knowledge of men and affairs. Yet it is not only by contrast that he holds a distinguished place. His sound judgement of character, and the pleasing irony of his style, give him at least a place in the company of Fielding, Austen and Thackeray' (Blakey, p. 65).
'What Bage brought to the novel was a great increase of intellectual content. His active, liberal and independant mind had ranged through a variety of subjects, and his books are full of thought... Bage's tolerance, his readiness to live and let live, is marked in all his books. It is the necessary and far from exhorbitant price paid by a man in order that he may enjoy to the full the company of his fellow-beings' (Tompkins, p. 203).
Garside, Raven & Schöwerling 1792:29; Blakey p. 159; see also pp. 62-65; J.M.S. Tompkins, The Popular Novel in England, 1770-1800, pp. 196-197.More details Price: £6,000.00
Memoirs of Adj. Gen. Ramel:
containing certain facts relative to the Eighteenth Fructidor, his Exile to Cayenne, and Escape from Thence with Pichegru, Barthelemy, Willot, Aubry, Dossonville, Larue, and Le Tellier. Translated from the French Edition, published at Hamburg, 1799. By C.L. Pelichet, late of the Prince of Wales’s Fencible Infantry.
Norwich, Kitton, 1805.
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. 8vo, (223 x 135 mm), pp. [ii], xxvi, 243, uncut throughout, in the original blue boards with white backstrip, spine chipped, printed label also chipped, boards rather stained, with the inscription of Frances Norris on the title-page, front pastedown and front cover (Miss F Norris).
A scarce provincially printed English translation of this first hand account of the aftermath of the 18th Fructidor, originally published as Journal de l’adjutant-général Ramel,… (more)
A scarce provincially printed English translation of this first hand account of the aftermath of the 18th Fructidor, originally published as Journal de l’adjutant-général Ramel, Londres 1799. After successfully defending Kehl from the attack of the Archduke Charles, Ramel had been promoted to Commander of the Guard of the Legislature, in which role he denounced the royalist conspiracy of Brottier in early 1797. Despite this, being suspected of royalist sympathies himself, he was denounced in the uprising of 18th Fructidor and was arrested and imprisoned in the Temple. Along with his friends Pichegru, Barthélémy, Laffon de Ladebat and Barbé-Marbois and some six hundred other royalists, Ramel was condemned and deported to the penal colonies in Guiana. In June 1798, Ramel escaped from the penal colony to Paramaribo and thence to London, where this vivid account of the miserable conditions of the camp at Sinnamary and of Ramel’s dering-do escape to England, via Surinam, Berbice and Demerary, was published to wide acclaim.
At least three editions of the French text appeared under ‘Londres’ imprints in 1799; this translation was made from an edition printed in Hamburg in the same year. It was published by subscription and has an impressive list - some fifteen pages - of subscribers, including Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire and Lady Caroline Lamb.
ESTC n65263; Sabin 67627.More details Price: £600.00
Memoirs of the Duke de Ripperda:
First Ambassador from the States-General to his Most Catholick Majesty, then Duke and Grandee of Spain; afterwards Bashaw and Prime Minister to Muly Abdalla, Emperor of Fez and Morocco, &c. Containing a Succinct Account of the most Remarkable Events which happen’d between 1715 and 1736. Interspers’d throughout with Several Curious Particulars relating to the Cardinals Del Guidice, and Alberoni, the Princess of Ursins, Prince Cellamere, the Marquis Beretti Landi, M. de Santa Cruz, and other Persons of Distinction in the Spanish Court. As Also, a Distinct and Impartial Detail of the Differences between the Courts of London and Madrid; with many Authentick Memorials, and other valuable Papers. And an Alphabetical Index.
London, John Stagg, 1740.
First Edition. 8vo, pp. xv, [i], 344,  index, some light browning to text, in contemporary speckled calf, spine gilt in compartments, with red morocco label lettered in gilt, worn at extremities but generally good.
An entertaining romantic history based around the life and diplomatic career of Jan Willem, Duke de Ripperda, with many amusing anecdotes drawn from the Moroccan… (more)
An entertaining romantic history based around the life and diplomatic career of Jan Willem, Duke de Ripperda, with many amusing anecdotes drawn from the Moroccan and Spanish courts and a wealth of information and comment on both countries and the character of the two nations. Interesting comparisons are also drawn between the Spanish and English courts, in the final section. The detailed index at the end makes it a good tool for reference as well as a diverting read.
Memoirs of The Year Two Thousand Five Hundred.
Translated from the French by W. Hooper, M.D. In two volumes. Vol. I [-II].
Dublin, W. Wilson, 1772.
First Dublin Edition. Two volumes, 12mo (170 x 105 mm), pp. [vi], iii, [i], -184, [iv], 200, some scattered browning in the text, in contemporary mottled calf, plain spines with raised bands, red morocco labels lettered and ruled in gilt, some wear to extremities, with early shelfmark labels on the pastedowns.
A handsome copy of the scarce first Irish edition of one of the most important utopian novels of the French eighteenth century. Set in Paris… (more)
A handsome copy of the scarce first Irish edition of one of the most important utopian novels of the French eighteenth century. Set in Paris in the twenty-fifth century (in the French original the year is 2440), the novel is a direct critique of the establishment through the familiar device of an imaginary society. First published in 1770, it ran to enormous numbers of editions in France and was amongst the best-sellers of underground literature. Trusson called Mercier 'the father of the modern utopia', because his was the first utopia set in future time.
‘Mercier calls for “that blissful period, when man shall have regained his courage, his liberty, his independence, and his virtue!” He adopts the now-familiar technique of having his hero fall asleep and awaken many years in a different society. The twenty-fifth century is very different from the tyrannical, class-ridden eighteenth: revolution has occurred - in this case through the efforts of a benevolent prince; a new, rational civilisation has been developed. Although society is basically agricultural, great stress is placed upon scientific knowledge and teh development of more advanced technology. Scientific invention and discovery are regarded as taking advantage of the supreme power’s gift to mankind. Two aspects of this otherwise enlightened society have long troubled liberal thinkers: the first of these is that all knowledge has been condensed into a very small number of books and all books not on the approved list have been consigned to the flames; the second is that little imagination is required to see the censorship that removes from history ‘those reigns where there was nothing to be seen but wars and cruelties’ becoming the kind of alteration of history one finds in such dystopian works as Nineteen Eighy-Four. Nonetheless, one can see the ideas of Montesquieu, Rousseau, Locke, and Voltaire in this happy society of the future, and the limitations placed on human activity are not greater than those in many utopias, both earlier and later’ (Lewis pp. 121-122).
The English translation, first published by Robinson in 1772, is by William Hooper, a minor literary figure who translated several works into English and was the author of Rational Recreations, 1774. Despite having altered the title, his translation of L'An 2440 is a fairly faithful one. He states that, as there was no particular reason that any given year should be chosen, it seemed better to him that a round number should be used, adding, 'that this is the only alteration made by the translator' (I, iii). He adds that his own notes are printed in italics to distinguish them from Mercier's original footnotes. In these notes, he clarifies some of the French terms, gives some historical background for the allusions, and adds his own opinions on Mercier's utopian ideals. ‘His honesty as a translator’, says Willkie, ‘is admirable' (Wilkie, p. 358).
'The earliest of Mercier's works which is still read for enjoyment and stimulation is L'An 2440 (1770), a work of political radicalism which - springing from a novel conjunction of past experience, present observation, and prophetic extrapolation - is the only genuinely creative contribution to Utopian literature in the eighteenth century' (John Renwick in The New Oxford Companion to French Literature, 1995).
ESTC n4081; Everett C. Wilkie, Mercier's L'An 2440: Its Publishing History during the Author's Lifetime, Part II: Bibliography, 1772.7; not in Gove; this edition not in Lewis, Penn State Utopian Literature, which lists five editions altogether, three in English; see Darnton 30.More details Price: £1,750.00
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
Sketches of Life, Characters, and Manners, in Various Countries; including the Memoirs of a French Lady of Quality. By the Author of Zeluco and Edward. Vol. I [-III].
Dublin, W. Watson [&c.], 1800.
FIRST DUBLIN EDITION. Three volumes, 12mo (179 x 100 mm), pp. [ii], ii, 239; [ii], ii, 276; [ii], ii, 283, title-page to the first volume considerably dampstained at the gutter with small tear to the facing endpaper, small hole on I, 161 (25 x max 4 mm) touching eight words and with loss of one word, presumably ‘of’, sense unaffected, marginal tear on II, 55, with loss but not to text, small manuscript correction on III, 105, with the final endpaper torn away in Volume II, in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, surface of boards fairly rubbed, bindings worn but sound, foot of spine in Vol. I chipped, flat spines ruled in gilt, red morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, with the ownership inscription of Harry de Montmorency 1822 and various illegible inscriptions in the first two volumes, including Walter Kearney (?), June 21st 1823.
The first Dublin edition of John Moore’s powerful novel written as an attack on the French revolution. It takes the form of thirty-four biographical sketches… (more)
The first Dublin edition of John Moore’s powerful novel written as an attack on the French revolution. It takes the form of thirty-four biographical sketches of famous politicians, public figures, senior ranking military officers and other wealthy celebrities of the day. Dr Moore was physician to Douglas, 8th Duke of Hamilton, and had accompanied him on his Grand Tour in the 1770s. He returned to the Continent with Lord Lauderdale and was in Paris in 1792 during the Revolution. This work contains many eye-witness accounts of events and observations made during those travels. Also included are accounts of dashing feats by a young English officer who is in fact Moore’s son, General Moore. The second volume contains the ‘Memoirs of a French Lady of Quality’.
See Garside, Raven & Schöwerling 1800:56; Block p. 165.
ESTC t77681, listing a handful of copies in the British Isles and Columbia, McMaster, Rice, Bancroft and Wayne State in North America.More details Price: £250.00
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.
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 Thomas Townshend, Esq. of Gray’s Inn.
London, T. Bensley for E. and S. Harding, 1796.
First Illustrated Edition. 8vo (180 x 105 mm), pp. vii, [i], 112, with engraved plate and numerous engravings in text, in contemporary red morocco, black morocco label lettered in gilt horizontally, spine ruled in gilt, with marbled endpapers and gilt edges.
A good copy in contemporary red morocco of a charmingly illustrated collection of poems. Originally published in a Dublin edition of 1791, this is the… (more)
A good copy in contemporary red morocco of a charmingly illustrated collection of poems. Originally published in a Dublin edition of 1791, this is the first edition to include the sequence of beautiful illustrations after Stothard, engraved by D. Harding, William N. Gardiner and Birrel. The text is divided into two sections, the first entitled ‘Elfin Eclogues’, comprising three eclogues, the first two of which feature characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream; the second and longer section is entitled ‘Odes’; this begins with an ‘Ode to Music’ which is accompanied by engraved plate and followed by notes. Further Odes follow on ‘War’, ‘Morning’, ‘Evening’, ‘The Glow-Worm’, ‘Hope’, ‘Love’ and ‘Youth’. A final section includes four ‘Elegaic Odes’, with a couple of touching pictures of youths mourning in graveyards. In addition to the engraved plate accompanying the ‘Ode to Music’, each poem has an engraved head-piece and there are tail-pieces throughout.
ESTC t88554.More details Price: £320.00
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.
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.