- Tag = English Literature
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 Castle of Otranto, A Story;
Translated by William Marshall, Gent. From the Original Italian of Onuphrio Muralto, Canon of the Church of St. Nicholas at Otranto.
First Dublin Edition. 12mo (170 x 110mm), pp ix, [i], 203, a small creases to the corner of the last few pages, bound after another work, in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, raised bands with red morocco label lettered in gilt ‘Blacklock’s Poems &’, a little rubbed, headcap slightly chipped and front joint weak, with the contemporary heraldic bookplate of ‘Michael Kearney, Fellow, Trin. Coll. Dublin’.
Walpole’s masterpiece, said to be the first Gothic novel, was first published by Thomas Lownds under a 1765 London imprint although it first appeared on… (more)
Walpole’s masterpiece, said to be the first Gothic novel, was first published by Thomas Lownds under a 1765 London imprint although it first appeared on Christmas Eve in 1764. The preface to the first edition, in which the author claims that the work is a translation by William Marshall of a sixteenth century Italian manuscript, is included in the present first Dublin edition. In April 1765 a second London edition appeared with an important new preface in which Walpole revealed his authorship and discussed the new 'gothic' genre he had invented. This Dublin edition was probably printed before April 11th, as it does not include the second preface. It is very rare and is not listed by Summers, who lists some fifty editions of the text, both in English and in translation.
‘The assertion on the title-page that the story was written by Onuphrio Muralto is properly recorded as a literary hoax, not a forgery since Horace Walpole admitted his authorship as soon as the book succeeded. His disingenuous preface to the first edition, in which he asserted that he, William Marshal, was translating from a rare Italian volume printed in 1529, was perhaps planned as a shield against the scoffing and scornful, and has done the world little harm’ (Hazen p. 52).
ESTC lists copies at BL, Eton College Library and Delaware University; COPAC adds Oxford University.
See Summers pp. 263-266 and Rothschild 2491-2 (this edition not listed).More details Price: £2,600.00
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.
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], -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.More details Price: £1,200.00
The History of Cornelia.
Dublin, John Smith, 1750.
First Dublin Edition. 12mo (175 x 110mm), pp. [iv], 271,  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.More details Price: £1,600.00
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.More details Price: £300.00
The History of the Adventures
of Joseph Andrews, and his friend Mr. Abraham Adams. By Henry Fielding, Esq.
London, Newbery & Dublin, Walker, 1776.
First Dublin Juvenile Edition. 16mo, (122 x 72 mm), engraved frontispiece (shaved at head) and pp. [xii], 166, many pages cut very close at the top, shaving a couple of headlines and page numbers, text generally grubby with a few pages particularly dog-eared, in the original Dutch floral boards, sometime rebacked (not very sensitively) with Dutch floral paper, internal paper restoration to front gutter, with a contemporary ownership inscription on the front free endpaper ‘Mr[s] Dealy oner [sic] of this Book... (?) June the 13th 1816’ and with contemporary manuscript accounts on the rear pastedown.
A scarce Dublin printed abridgement of Joseph Andrews aimed at the children’s market. Francis Newbery first published an abridged version of Joseph Andrews in 1769,… (more)
A scarce Dublin printed abridgement of Joseph Andrews aimed at the children’s market. Francis Newbery first published an abridged version of Joseph Andrews in 1769, accompanied by a frontispiece and five other engraved plates, an edition that Gumuchian describes as ‘excessively rare’. Further Newbery editions appeared in 1784, 1793, both with the illustrations and in 1799, without. This Dublin printed juvenile edition probably has nothing to do with the Newbery family, save the respectability of the borrowed name on the title-page.
ESTC has five entries for actual Newbery printings of this title:
i. London, F. Newbery, 1769 (Roscoe J131 (1), pp. xii, 149, , plates) ESTC t89898, at BL only. Cotsen also has an imperfect copy.
ii. London, F. Newbery, 1769 (not in Roscoe), pp. x, 176 (ie. 196), plates) ESTC n4293, at Harvard only.
iii. London, E. Newbery, 1784 (Roscoe J131 (2), pp. x, 163, , plates) ESTC t89899, at BL, Harvard, Morgan (2 copies), Toronto and Yale. Cotsen also has a copy, wanting two of the plates.
iv. London, E. Newbery, 1793 (Roscoe J131 (3), pp. 180, plates) ESTC n17521, at Morgan only.
v. London, E. Newbery, 1799 (Roscoe J131 (4), pp. 136, , frontispiece) ESTC n6990, at BL, Cambridge and UCLA.
Not in Roscoe, but see J131; see also Gumuchian 2522 (Elizabeth Newbery’s 1784 edition, ‘excessively rare’) and 2523.
ESTC t225861, at the British Library only.More details Price: £4,000.00
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,  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
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,  index,  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.
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, , 146; [ii], 171, ,  glossary; [ii], 90, 61, ,  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.More details Price: £800.00
The Patient Parson forgetting his Text;
Or, the Hogs in the Ale Cellar.
Single sheet, folio (380 x 230 mm), printed on one side with large circular etched illustration by J. Barlow after Collings at the top of the sheet (measuring 196 mm diameter) with engraved caption beneath, the text in verse in three columns, with several small tears and creases, one larger tear (70 mm) into the illustration with no loss, edges a little grubby and worn, some light and mainly marginal staining, folded above the verse.
A scarce comical verse satire about a hypocritical parson who preaches patience from the pulpit before losing his temper with his family. He returns from… (more)
A scarce comical verse satire about a hypocritical parson who preaches patience from the pulpit before losing his temper with his family. He returns from the church service where he has delivered a sermon on the virtues of patience to find that the pigs have invaded his cellar and emptied his prized cask of ale. Attempting to calm him, his wife says ‘Lord, Husband, remember the patience of Job in his losses’. Untouched by her remonstrances, ‘A pox upon Job’, cries the parson in a rage, ‘That beer, I dare say, was near three years of age; but you are a poor stupid fool, like his wife; Why, Job never had such a cask in his Life’.
At the foot of the broadside is a publisher’s advertisement: ‘Just Published in this Manner, Mrs Thrale’s Three Warnings, the Greenwich Pensioner, Poll and My Partner Joe, and many other esteemed songs and pieces. In Fores’s exhibition, No. 3 Piccadilly may be seen the compleatest collection of caricatures in Europe. Admittance one shilling.’
Not in the Catalogue of prints and drawings in the British Museum.
ESTC t207142, listing BL and Cambridge only.More details Price: £650.00
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.More details Price: £500.00
The Political and Confidential Correspondence
of Lewis the Sixteenth; with Observations on each Letter. By Helen Maria Williams. In three volumes. Vol. I [-III].
London, G. and J. Robinson, 1803.
First Edition. Three volumes, 8vo, (205 x 126 mm), pp. [iii]-xxxiv, 267, ; [ii], 355; [ii], 328, marginal tear to I, 119 (with loss but not touching text), pre-binding tear and fold on III, 233 and 235 through text but without loss, a couple of pages a little sprung, some dust-soiled along the edges, bound without the half-titles, in contemporary mottled calf, some acid erosion to covers but not badly so, spines gilt in compartments, a little worn, green morocco labels lettered in gilt, with the Fasque bookplate.
Helen Maria Williams’ most overtly political translation and her single most controversial work. The letters of Louis XVI were obtained in good faith by Williams,… (more)
Helen Maria Williams’ most overtly political translation and her single most controversial work. The letters of Louis XVI were obtained in good faith by Williams, who hoped to use her translation and commentary for the transmission of her own revolutionary beliefs. The enterprise turned out to be a massive error of judgement on her part as the public reaction was overwhelmingly that of sympathy for the unjustly treated king, quite the opposite to the effect she had intended. Worse than this, however, was the public and official outcry that greeted its publication. Almost immediately people began to doubt the authenticity of the letters and Williams was subject to a barrage of humiliating attacks. The first blow was that the work was confiscated by the authorities for fear of its royalist sympathies and this was followed by endless attacks, most notably a full-length vitriolic tirade by Bertrand de Moleville, A Refutation of the Libel on the Memory of the late King of France, published by Helen Maria Williams under the title of Political and Confidential Correspondence of Louis XVI translated from the original manuscript by R. C. Dallas, London, 1804. Bertrand de Moleville was unrestrained in his criticism both of the present and other works and of Williams herself, whom he famously described as 'a woman whose lips and pen distil venom'.
After years of suspicion and controversy, it transpired that the letters were indeed forgeries. Williams had purchased them from François Babié de Bercenay and Sulpice Imbert, Comte de la Platière and had herself been convinced that they were genuine. In 1822, however, Babié de Bercenay revealed in a letter that he had written the letters at the suggestion of his friend Sulpice Imbert. Williams, the innocent translator, had unwittingly been implicated in a literary hoax. Such was the humiliation she suffered after the publication that Williams retired from literary life and very little is heard of her over the next ten years.
‘Were it not for Babié’s revelation in 1820, we may never have known the actual history of Williams’s set of the Louis XVI letters. With its historical (mis)representation deriving from a non-original (in a sense) original, does Williams’s text prove an ambiguous artefact? However, the work exists as a testament to the importance of her translational oeuvre in its position in the canon as a contribution to her revolutionary communication and, in a secondary sense, as an intriguing example of the pseudotranslational subgenre’ (Paul Hague, Helen Maria Williams: the purpose and practice of translation, 1789-1827, 2015, pp. 126).
The letters are given in French and English but Williams’ commentary is given only in English. An edition was published in New York in the same year, published by Caritat. This copy comes from the Fasque library in Scotland, which was put together by Gladstone’s father. It has the Fasque bookplate in each volume.More details Price: £600.00
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,  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.More details Price: £200.00
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.  engraved title-page, [iv] title-page and dedication, lxvii, [i], 179, , 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.More details Price: £450.00
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], -216; III: [vi], -192; IV: [vi], -207, small portion torn from the corner of the contents leaf, with loss, not touching text; V: [xxx], including 24 pp. subscribers’ list, -172; VI: [vi], -174; VII: [vi], -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.More details Price: £1,200.00