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  • rare Scottish history printed in Dumfries
    The heroic deeds of the Scots. by CARRUTHERS, John (active 1796).
    CARRUTHERS, John (active 1796).
    The heroic deeds of the Scots. A Poem, in four volumes. From Fergus I. down to the present Time. To which are added, Poems on Several Occasions, at the End of each Volume. By John Carruthers. Volume I [all published]. Dumfries, Robert Jackson, 1796.

    First Edition. 12mo, (166 x 100 mm), pp. vii, [i], [9]-84, text fairly browned with some dampstaining, partially uncut, in contemporary sheep backed marbled boards, front joint cracked and delicate, head and tail of spine chipped, boards dusty and worn, extremities rubbed.

    A scarce poetical description of the earliest history of Scotland, accompanied by notes. This slim (and very scarce) volume is all that came of an… (more)

    A scarce poetical description of the earliest history of Scotland, accompanied by notes. This slim (and very scarce) volume is all that came of an ambitious plan for a four volume work of poetry and scholarship spanning several centuries. Dedicated to George James Hay, Earl of Errol and with a prefatory ‘Address to the Inhabitants of Annandale’, the work opens with a note on the origin of the Scots and a three page introduction in verse. The origins of the nation are further explored in ‘Chapter First’, which ends with the death of the mythical Fergus I. The poem continues with the invasion of the Danes, the death of Kennethus, the battles of Almon and Loncarty and the reign of Malcolm, which take the reader to the beginning of Book IV, accompanied by footnotes throughout. At this point, verse is abandoned and the narrative is ‘continued in Prose, from Fergus I. to Robert Bruce, being the end of the first Volume’ (pp. 55-70). The remaining pages contain verses by and addressed to John Carruthers, on various subjects.
    Given the slightness of the volume, the disclaimer in the opening address is rather endearing: ‘I am only sorry that, on account of the book swelling larger than could possibly be afforded at the price, I have been necessitated to leave out the verse, and insert the notes only, from the reign of Macbeth. I shall however make some amends in the next volume, which will be much more concise, having only to treat of nine Kings reigns, down to James the Sixth’. In a final note at the end of the text, Carruthers addds ‘From the want of authentic records in the early ages of Scottish history, I have been as brief as the subject would admit. When we come to more enlightened times, the events that passed will be more fully treated. The fourth and last volume of this Book, which gives an account of this present war from its commencement, will be above 200 pages, including the Subscribers names, who are now upwards of two thousand’.

    ESTC t198507, listing BL, Hornel Art Gallery Library (Kirkcudbright), NLS and Cornell only.

    View basket More details Price: £1,200.00
  • ‘her fiction is didactic with touches of humour, reasonable with touches of sentiment’ (Feminist Companion).
    The History of Cornelia. by SCOTT, Sarah (1720-95)
    SCOTT, Sarah (1720-95)
    The History of Cornelia. Dublin, John Smith, 1750.

    First Dublin Edition. 12mo (175 x 110mm), pp. [iv], 271, [1] advertisements, small marginal tear to the final leaf, advertisements a little obscured by staining, some intermittent browning, bound in contemporary mottled calf, some surface abrasion to both covers, more noticeable on the front cover, plain spine with raised bands and red morocco label lettered and ruled in gilt, with the contemporary ownership inscription of ‘Hen Moore 1750’ on the front pastedown.

    The scarce first Dublin edition of Sarah Scott’s first novel, written shortly before her marriage and nine years after she had contracted smallpox. At the… (more)

    The scarce first Dublin edition of Sarah Scott’s first novel, written shortly before her marriage and nine years after she had contracted smallpox. At the time, smallpox was regarded as disastrous for a woman on account of its harmful effect on physical beauty which would lower a woman’s value in the marriage market. The illness had had a life-changing impact on Scott and her literary output as it directed her away from a life of ‘social success... towards a life dedicated to writing, domestic female friendship and Christian philanthropy’. The circumstances of Scott’s disastrous marriage and its abrupt end have never been revealed, but in 1752, her family intervened and removed her from her husband’s home, after which she went to Bath to live with her earlier companion, Lady Barbara Montagu (c. 1722-1765). Here they established a small community, offering a basic education in literacy, numeracy and needlework to poor children, particularly to young girls. Scott started writing again in order to help with the expenses of their philanthropic projects. It was this community, and its underlying philosophy, that was to inspire her most well-known work, the utopian A Description of Millenium Hall and the Country Adjacent, 1778.
    This is one of only two editions of The History of Cornelia, which was first published by A. Millar in London, earlier the same year (ESTC t119494, at BL, Cambridge, Bodleian, Bristol, Hull, Cornell, Harvard, Huntington, Indiana, Newberry, Ohio State, Princeton, Stanford, Alberta, British Columbia, Bncroft, Clark, Chicago, Illinois, Penn and Yale).

    ESTC t68564, BL and National Library of Ireland only.

    Raven 39; see Block p. 209.

    View basket More details Price: £1,600.00
  • The History of Margaret of Anjou, by PREVOST D'EXILES, Antoine François, dit Abbé Prévost (1697-1763)._LABADIE, 'religieux convers de la congrégation de Saint Maur'.
    PREVOST D'EXILES, Antoine François, dit Abbé Prévost (1697-1763)._LABADIE, 'religieux convers de la congrégation de Saint Maur'.
    The History of Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England. Translated from the French of the Abbé Prévost. In two volumes. Vol. I [-II]. Dublin, Faulkner, 1755.

    FIRST DUBLIN EDITION. Two volumes in one, 12mo, (168 x 92 mm), pp. 180; 160, in contemporary calf, plain spine with raised bands, brown morocco label lettered in gilt, surface abrasion to boards and spine label chipped, otherwise a good sound copy, wanting the front free endpaper, with the ownership inscription ‘Ex Libris Ricardi Moore, Pd for this Vol. 2s 8d’.

    The scarce first Dublin edition of Prévost's highly romanticised novel about Margaret of Anjou (1430-1482), first published in 1740 as Histoire de Marguerite d’Anjou, reine… (more)

    The scarce first Dublin edition of Prévost's highly romanticised novel about Margaret of Anjou (1430-1482), first published in 1740 as Histoire de Marguerite d’Anjou, reine d’Angleterre. The wife of Henry VI, Margaret was Queen of England between 1445 and 1461 and again between 1470 and 1471. She was dubbed ‘the she-wolf of Anjou' for her prominent role in the Wars of the Roses, ruling in her husband’s place during his frequent bouts of insanity. A strong female figure who eventually fled to France under the protection of her cousin, Louis XI, she was a fitting subject for this historical novel by the ardent anglophile Prévost.
    The novel was popular in France, with editions following in 1741 and 1745; it was later reprinted in volume fourteen of the Oeuvres choisies de l'abbé Prévost, 1783-1785. This appears to have been the only edition of this translation published in England; a Dublin edition of it appeared in 1756.

    ESTC t119862, at BL, NLI and McMaster only; see also Cioranescu 51286; Jones p. 75; not in Raven.

    View basket More details Price: £300.00
  • The Lady's Drawing Room by [LADY.]
    [LADY.]
    The Lady's Drawing Room Being a Faithful Picture of the Great World. In which the various Humours of both Sexes are display'd. Drawn from the Life: and Interspers'd with entertaining and affecting Novels. The Second Edition. Revised and Corrected by the Author. London, Millar, 1748.

    Second Edition, 'Revised and Corrected by the Author'. 12mo, pp. [ii], iv, 329, [1] advertiesements, in contemporary calf, heavily rubbed but sound, double fillet border to covers, spine with five raised bands, ruled in gilt.

    'There is no Place whatever, in which the Ladies have so much the Opportunity of shewing themselves to Advantage, as in their own Drawing Rooms'.… (more)

    'There is no Place whatever, in which the Ladies have so much the Opportunity of shewing themselves to Advantage, as in their own Drawing Rooms'. So begins this beguiling work which boasts the inclusion of love stories, adventure stories, imaginary voyages and eastern mystique, all narrated from the excellent Ethelinda's drawing room. 'An 'assembly' collection of brief amorous novels, imaginary voyages, and moral histories, told to each other by the daily visitors to the drawing room of the beautiful Ethelinda, who has banished cards and gossip in favour of the edifying art of storytelling' (Beasley). The work is divided into six 'days', each with an introduction, describing those present and setting the drawing room in the wider context of society (guests coming on from dinner; balls thrown for all the assembled company), the narration of a short story by one of the guests and a final open discussion of the issues raised in the story.
    The six novellas included are 'The History of Rodomond, and the Beautiful Indian' (pp. 13-42); 'The Fair Unfortunate, a true Secret History' (pp. 50-77); 'The True History of Henrietta de Bellgrave. A Woman born only for Calamities: a distres'd Virgin, unhappy Wife, and most afflicted Mother', Wrote by herself for the Use of her Daughter' (pp. 101-174); 'The Adventures of Marilla' (pp. 212-232); 'The Story of Berinthia' (pp. 238-254) & 'The History of Adrastus, Semanthe, and Apamia' (pp. 257-268); 'The History of Clyamon and Constantia, or the Force of Love and Jealousy' (pp. 289-328). In addition to the main short stories in each part there are numerous anecdotes, amusing incidents such as amorous verses accidentally falling out of pockets, a mock proposal to parliament for reforming taxes and many other such whimsical conversation pieces, making the cement with which these stories are held together every bit as interesting as the texts themselves. The third novella, 'The True History of Henrietta of Bellgrave', is an imaginary voyage to the East Indies; it was frequently reprinted as a chapbook in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
    The first edition was published in 1744 (ESTC t80582 Feb '03 lists BL, Cambridge, NLS, Glasgow, McMaster, Yale, Clark, Folger, Newberry, Minnesota & Harvard) and a Dublin edition appeared in 1746. It was reprinted under the title The Memoirs of Lydia Tongue-Pad in 1768 and later selections were published, particularly of 'The True History of Henrietta of Bellgrave' (see above) and continuations. A Russian translation, by Daniil Petrov, was published under the title Zhenskaia ubornaia komnata, Moskva 1781. More recently, it was published by Garland as part of the The Flowering of the Novel series, New York 1974. It has sometimes been attributed to Grace Percivall and E.W. Stackhouse but it is generally given as anonymous.

    ESTC t65815, at BL, Clark, Bancroft, Lilly, Newberry, Chicago and Illinois only.

    Gove p. 308; see Hardy 97

    View basket More details Price: £400.00
  • SPELMAN, John (1594-1643).
    HEARNE, Thomas, editor (1678-1735).
    The Life of Aelfred the Great, by Sir John Spelman Kt. From the Original Manuscript in the Bodleian Library: with Considerable Additions, and Several Historical Remarks, by the Publisher Thomas Hearne, M.A. Oxford, at the Theatre for Maurice Atkins, 1709.

    First Edition. 8vo, (192 x 115mm), engraved portrait frontispiece and pp. [vi], 238, [8] index, [1] addenda and emendanda, in contemporary plain panelled calf, upper joint slightly cracked, plain spine wanting the label, early ownership inscription crossed out on front paste-down, some browning in text but generally a pretty good copy.

    An attractive copy in plain panelled calf of this important biography of King Alfred, first published here from the manuscript. Obadiah Walker had edited a… (more)

    An attractive copy in plain panelled calf of this important biography of King Alfred, first published here from the manuscript. Obadiah Walker had edited a Latin translation in 1678, but this edition, edited by Hearne, was taken from Spelman’s original at the Bodleian. It is Hearne’s own copious and scholarly notes that make this an important work. ‘Spelman’s Life of Alfred, a poor thing in itself, is memorable for its part in the Oxford-Cambridge controversy as to precedence... but it is memorable also as a testimony to the growth at Oxford of interest in the Old English language and our early chronicles’ (Carter).
    Much controversy surrounded the publication of this work and Hearne writes at some length in his diary (II 179 ff) about Arthur Charlett’s attempts to prevent him publishing this edition. Apparently he believed that only a University College man should be permitted to attempt it, that being the college that King Alfred was said to have founded. As for Hearne, he was at St. Edmund Hall.

    Carter, History of the OUP, pp. 112-113 and 457.

    ESTC t147373.

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  • The metrical history of Sir William Wallace, by [HENRY THE MINSTREL.] BLIND HARRY (c. 1440-1492).
    [HENRY THE MINSTREL.] BLIND HARRY (c. 1440-1492).
    The metrical history of Sir William Wallace, Knight of Ellerslie, by Henry, commonly called Blind Harry: Carefully transcribed from the M.S. copy of that work, in the Advocates’ Library, under the eye of the Earl of Buchan. And now printed for the first time, according to the ancient and true orthography. With notes and dissertations. In three volumes. Vol. I [-III]. Perth, Morison, 1790.

    First Edition. Three volumes, small 12mo, (147 x 85mm), engraved frontispiece in each volume and pp. [vi], 23, [1], 146; [ii], 171, [1], [12] glossary; [ii], 90, 61, [1], [4] list of subscribers, in contemporary patterned calf, spines gilt in compartments with distinctive urn and snake tooling, red morocco labels lettered in gilt with green morocco labels with central red morocco shields numbered in gilt, with the contemporary Strathallan armorial bookplate.

    An attractive copy, with a good Scottish provenance, of the first attempt to produce a scholarly edition of a famous fifteenth century metrical romance, from… (more)

    An attractive copy, with a good Scottish provenance, of the first attempt to produce a scholarly edition of a famous fifteenth century metrical romance, from the unique surviving manuscript source. The first volume has an additional title-page giving the original title in Scottish dialect, ‘Ye Actis and Deidis of ye Illuster and Vailzeand Campioun, Shyr Wilham Wallace, Knycht off Elrisle’, also dated Perth, 1790.
    The four page list of subscribers in the third volume includes Robert Burns, who always professed a great love for this poem. Burns described the lines ‘A false usurper sinks in every foe / And liberty returns with every blow’ as ‘a couplet worthy of Homer’ and incorporated them in his own poem ‘Robert Bruce’s Address to his Army at Bannockburn’. The introductory material to the text includes a dedication to the Earl of Buchan, a short account of the preparation of this edition, with its revised division into twelve books, ‘An Account of Henry, commonly called Blind Harry, author of the Historical Poem of the life of Sir William Wallace’ (pp. 5-20) and a brief essay examining the involvement of John Blair, ‘Of the Historical Relations ascribed to Arnald Blair’ (pp. 21-23). The second volume also contains a twelve page glossary.

    ESTC t71686.

    View basket More details Price: £800.00
  • ‘Marked by real poetic power and ingenious imitative faculty’ (DNB)
    HOGG, James.
    The Poetic Mirror, or the Living Bards of Britain. London, Longman &c., 1816.

    First Edition. 12mo, pp. [ii], iv, [i], [i], 275, text a little browned and stained throughout, in contemporary speckled calf, flat spine ruled in gilt, black morocco label lettered in gilt, with a contemporary ownership inscription of Robert Ritchie on the rather foxed front endpaper.

    A magnificent spoof volume of imitations of the contemporary poets by James Hogg. With an advertisement explaining his long-conceived project of obtaining one piece of… (more)

    A magnificent spoof volume of imitations of the contemporary poets by James Hogg. With an advertisement explaining his long-conceived project of obtaining one piece of work from ‘each of the principal living Bards of Britain’ and publishing them together. The author was refused permission to reprint other poets’ work and set to achieve the same ends by invention. Byron, Wordsworth, Scott, Southey, Coleridge and James Wilson are the poets parodied, plus one poem in Scottish dialect which Hogg credits to himself.

    View basket More details Price: £500.00
  • written for Madame de Maintenon’s young ladies
    RACINE, Jean (1639-1699).
    The Sacred Dramas of Esther & Athalia: translated from the French of Racine: Edinburgh, John Moir for Manners and Miller, 1803.

    First Edition of this Translation. 8vo, (125 x 214mm), pp. [vi], 154, [1] errata, with the half-title, in contemporary tree calf, spine simply ruled in gilt, red morocco label lettered in gilt, with the heraldic bookplate of Sir James Campbell of Stracathro.

    An anonymous verse translation of two plays by Racine. The first is Racine’s final tragedy, Athalie, first performed in 1691 and considered one of his… (more)

    An anonymous verse translation of two plays by Racine. The first is Racine’s final tragedy, Athalie, first performed in 1691 and considered one of his greatest achievements: Voltaire thought it the greatest triumph of the human mind while Flaubert, in Madame Bovary, ranked it as the masterpiece of the French stage. The second play translated here is the lesser-known Esther, 1689, a work in three acts written for the young ladies of Madame de Maintenon’s academy, the Maison Royale de Saint Louis. A note in the 1876 translation by Caroline Andrews reads: ‘As the translator has followed closely the original, she hopes to recommend the same to the attention of lady educators’.

    With a dedication to the Duchess of Gordon and a brief address to the reader: ‘The Translator has often admired the sublimity of sentiment, and elegant simplicity that reign in the sacred dramas of Racine. He has reaped both pleasure and edification from the perusal of these pieces, so justly esteemed by those who have a relish for sacred poetry: Hence he has been induced to believe that a translation of them, imitating closely the simple manner and style of the originals, might afford a similar gratification to the well-disposed British reader’.

    OCLC lists BL, NLS, Edinburgh University, Stanford, Chicago, Michigan and Princeton.

    View basket More details Price: £200.00
  • The Seasons, by THOMSON, James (1700-1748).TIMAEUS, Johann Jacob Carl (d. 1809), editor.MURDOCH, Patrick (d. 1774).AIKIN, John (1747-1822).
    THOMSON, James (1700-1748).
    TIMAEUS, Johann Jacob Carl (d. 1809), editor.
    MURDOCH, Patrick (d. 1774).
    AIKIN, John (1747-1822).
    The Seasons, by James Thomson. To which is prefixed the Life of the Author, by Patrick Murdoch, D.D.F.R.S. and An Essay on the Plan and Character of the Poem, by J. Aikin. A New Edition Revised and Corrected by J.J.C. Timaeus. Hamburg, Herold, 1791.

    8vo, (200 x 125mm), pp. [2] engraved title-page, [iv] title-page and dedication, lxvii, [i], 179, [1], in contemporary half calf over yellow boards, spine simply ruled in gilt with red morocco label lettered in gilt, pretty red patterned endpapers.

    A charming copy of a scarce Hamburg printed, English language edition of Thomson’s Seasons. With a second title-page, attractively engraved with bucolic depiction of the… (more)

    A charming copy of a scarce Hamburg printed, English language edition of Thomson’s Seasons. With a second title-page, attractively engraved with bucolic depiction of the seasons, a dedication to Christian Daniel Ebeling, signed John Timaeus, Patrick Murdoch’s life of James Thomson and John Aikin’s critical appraisal of the poem, first published in 1778.

    ESTC t623 at BL, Camden Libraries, NLS, Lodz, Gottingen, Torun, Smith, Clark and Victoria University.

    Price, The Publication of English Literature in Germany in the Eighteenth Century, p. 238.

    View basket More details Price: £450.00
  • STERNE, Laurence (1713-1768).
    The Sermons of Mr. Yorick. Vol. I [-II]. The Ninth Edition. Vol. III [-IV]. New Edition. [with:] Sermons by the late Rev. Mr. Sterne. Vol. V [-VII]. London, Dodsley, 1768 [V-VII: Strachan, Cadell and Beckett, 1769].

    Ninth Edition of Vols. 1-4; First Edition of Vols. 5-7. Seven volumes, uniform, 12mo (150 x 85 mm), I: engraved frontispiece portrait and pp. [iii]-xi, [i], [viii], 203; II: [vi], [7]-216; III: [vi], [3]-192; IV: [vi], [3]-207, small portion torn from the corner of the contents leaf, with loss, not touching text; V: [xxx], including 24 pp. subscribers’ list, [3]-172; VI: [vi], [3]-174; VII: [vi], [3]-160, in contemporary sprinkled polished calf, spines simply ruled and numbered in gilt, with a contemporary heraldic bookplate on the verso of each title-page and with the contemporary owership inscription of Sarah Clarke on each pastedown, that in the first volume adding the date ‘August ye 29th 1775’, some light wear to extremities and some scuffing and marking, but generally a very attractive set.

    A delightful copy of Sterne’s Sermons in a fine contemporary binding with a nice female provenance. This set includes the first edition of the second… (more)

    A delightful copy of Sterne’s Sermons in a fine contemporary binding with a nice female provenance. This set includes the first edition of the second part, the final three volumes under the title Sermons by the late Rev. Mr. Sterne, which were published on 10th June, 1769. They were subsequently published in many editions with the earlier volumes. The first four volumes, under the title The Sermons of Mr. Yorick, were first published on 22nd May 1760. This is a completely charming set in a simple, lightly sprinkled, pale calf binding.

    Cross II, 269 & 272.

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  • HOBLER, John Paul.
    The Words of the Favourite Pieces, as performed at the Glee Club, held at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, Strand. Compiled from their Library, by J. Paul Hobler. London, Symonds, 1794.

    First Edition. Small 8vo, pp. [iv], 85, [6], in contemporary unlettered, freeform, tree calf, spine ruled in gilt, some wear.

    An important collection of lyrics for songs and rounds etc, as sung at England’s most notable glee club at the end of the eighteenth century.… (more)

    An important collection of lyrics for songs and rounds etc, as sung at England’s most notable glee club at the end of the eighteenth century. Included are songs by well-known musicians such as John Wall Callcott, Dr. Benjamin Cooke, Stephen Paxton and Samuel Webbe, including the latter’s ‘Glorious Apollo’ which became a traditional opening for glee club programmes. With an index.

    ESTC t110779.

    View basket More details Price: £250.00
  • The Works of Shakespeare. by SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616).
    SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616).
    The Works of Shakespeare. Glasgow, David Bryce, 1904.

    40 volumes, 64mo, (50 x 32 mm), each volume bearing a frontispiece with half-title on the recto, and with the dedication leaf ‘by Special Permission to Miss Ellen Terry’, printed on fine India paper, bound in contemporary green chamois leather, marble effect endpapers, central armorial device blind stamped on the front covers with blind stamped single fillet border extending across the spine to both covers, spines lettered in gilt, small chips to the spines of As You Like It, Venus & Adonis (split along joint) and King Lear (larger portion missing at foot of spine), the gilt faded to differing degrees by volume, the green colour of the reversed calf bindings faded along the spines and the front covers on volumes situated at the edge of the bookcase, gilt edges, the whole housed in the original plain polished oak swivelling bookcase.

    A delightful example of the most charming of David Bryce’s ‘Ellen Terry’ series of miniature literary sets. The 40 volumes include the plays, the sonnets,… (more)

    A delightful example of the most charming of David Bryce’s ‘Ellen Terry’ series of miniature literary sets. The 40 volumes include the plays, the sonnets, a biographical sketch and a glossary. The editor was J. Talfourd Blair.

    View basket More details Price: £1,500.00
  • VIDA, Marco Girolamo (ca. 1485-1566).
    PITT, Christopher (1699-1748).
    Vida's art of poetry, Translated into English Verse, by the Reverend Mr. Christopher Pitt, A.M. Late Fellow of New-College in Oxford, Rector of Pimperne in Dorsetshire, and Chaplain to the Right Honourable Philip, Earl Stanhope, &c. London, Palmer, 1725.

    First Edition. 12mo in sixes, pp. [iv], 118, wanting the advertisement leaf, in contemporary red morocco, single gilt ruled border to covers, flat spine simply ruled and lettered in gilt, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers with the armorial bookplate of Syston Park.

    First edition of Christopher Pitt's English translation of De Arte Poetica by Marco Girolamo Vida, bishop of Alba, first published in 1535. The poem had… (more)

    First edition of Christopher Pitt's English translation of De Arte Poetica by Marco Girolamo Vida, bishop of Alba, first published in 1535. The poem had long been popular on the continent but was only introduced to England in Tristram's Oxford edition in 1723. Pitt's translation went to a second edition in 1742. Born in Blandford, Pitt returned to his native Dorset after taking his MA at Oxford and spent the rest of his life in quiet scholarly seclusion at his living in Pimperne. He is mostly remembered for his translation of Virgil, thought by his many of his contemporaries to be superior to Dryden's translation for both beauty and accuracy. Johnson, however, was more circumspect: 'Dryden's faults are forgotten in the hurry of delight, and Pitt's beauties are neglected in the languor of a cold and listless perusal; Pitt pleases the critics and Dryden the people; Pitt is quoted and Dryden read'.
    On a tangent, it is interesting to note that this book was printed by Samuel Palmer, author of The Practical Part of Printing, 1729 and the uncompleted but important History of Printing finally published in 1732. It was in 1725, the year the present work was printed, that Benjamin Franklin 'got into work at Palmer's, a famous printing house in Bartholemew Close' and was to remain working there for a year. He notes in his autobiography that he was employed in composing Wollaston's Religion of Nature, but it is entertaining to conjecture that he might have had a hand in the present work. This is an attractive copy of Pitt's poem, bound in contemporary red morocco for the library at Syston Park.

    ESTC t98741.

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  • SWIFT, Jonathan (1667-1745).
    DESFONTAINES, Abbé Pierre François Guyot (1685-1749), translator.
    Voyages de Gulliver. Tome Premier [-Second]. Paris, Guérin, 1727.

    First French Edition, First Issue. Two volumes in one, 12mo in eights and fours, pp. [vi], [vii]-xli, [v], 123, [1]; [125]-248; [vii], [i], 119, [1]; [121]-289, [3], with four engraved plates, unsigned, one to each part, in contemporary calf, sympathetically rebacked, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco label lettered in gilt, red edges, marbled endpapers, with the later bookplates of Henri Beraldi and La Goualante.

    Gulliver's Travels was an overnight best-seller in France. Following swiftly on the publication of the English text in late October 1726, the first French language… (more)

    Gulliver's Travels was an overnight best-seller in France. Following swiftly on the publication of the English text in late October 1726, the first French language edition, by an anonymous translator, appeared in the Hague in January 1727. This Desfontaines translation followed some three months later, in April 1727. Although it was less faithful to the original, being heavily abridged and at times almost closer to an adaptation than a translation, it was in Desfontaines’ version that Gulliver took France by storm. This is the first issue of the first appearance of that translation and the first publication of Gulliver in France. The Privilège du Roy, advertised at the foot of the imprint, had been granted to Hypolite-Louis Guérin on 20th March 1727. On the following day he shared it with two other local printers: 'faisant part du present Privilege aux Sieurs Gabriel Martin & Jacques Guérin'. Accordingly, the same printing of this first edition appears with two other imprints on the titles of both volumes.
    It was in this translation by Desfontaines’ that Swift’s work had a profound influence on French literature: ‘this shoddy but elegantly written version was repeatedly reissued in France well into the late 19th century, with a record 180 editions by the 1920s’ (Paul-Gabriel Boucé). Desfontaines went on to write his famous continuation, Le Nouveau Gulliver, which was also very popular and in turn saw translations into English, German and Italian. Graebar, who says that Desfontaines’ translation ‘outshines all later ones’, suggests that it was partly the abridged nature of Desfontaines’ version that ensured its success: ‘by reducing it to the expectations of his addressees, an approach that proved immediately as well as lastingly successful’.

    OCLC lists twenty copies, but only Getty, DLC, Delware, Illinois, Harvard, Princeton and Morgan in America.

    Cohen-de Ricci 210; not in Cioranescu; Teerink-Scouten 383.

    View basket More details Price: £800.00