- Tag = English Literature
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.
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. This is an excellent example of the middle ground of children’s literature,… (more)
A scarce Dublin printed abridgement of Joseph Andrews aimed at the children’s market. This is an excellent example of the middle ground of children’s literature, where juvenile fiction intersects with and borrows from mainstream literature. Considerably fatter than most children’s books, this juvenile Fielding has very much the feel of a book: it is chunky, but it fits easily into a pocket, and, crucially, is bound in Dutch floral boards, the trademark binding of younger juveniles.
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
In three volumes. Vol. I [-III].
London, Edward Bull, 1832.
First Edition in English. Three volumes, 8vo (220 x 124 mm), pp. [iv], iv, 342,  advertisements; [iv], 336; [iv], 324, uncut throughout in contemporary pink boards with green cloth spines, bindings a little sprung and slightly delicate but holding, a little dusty and worn at extremities, printed labels on spines, green bookseller’s labels on front boards.
First English edition of Carl Spindler’s Der Jude, first published in Stuttgart in 1827. One of several historical romances by the actor turned novelist: he… (more)
First English edition of Carl Spindler’s Der Jude, first published in Stuttgart in 1827. One of several historical romances by the actor turned novelist: he joined a company of strolling players in Germany before turning his hand to historical fiction. He was a prolific author in many fields and edited a periodical publication, Vergissmeinicht, which ran from 1830 until his death in 1855 and included a number of minor novels. He is mainly remembered for his historical fiction, the best of which was published in a flurry in the late 1820s, although his published work runs to some hundred volumes.
‘The Editor of the Jew deems it necessary to state that these volumes are a very free version of a work, bearing the same title, which has attained to a high degree of popularity upon the continent... The five volumes (of the original German) before us, contain as many incidents and characters as would set up five common novelists in their trade; and yet the whole of this enormous mass is managed with a dexterity rarely exhibited by a common novelist in the execution of his own comparatively easy task. The principal personages rise above the crowd in a distinct and conspicuous manner; and the main stream of the story is never confounded with the thousand tributaries that rush into its course’ (Introduction, pp. i-iv).
The present novel is not in Wolff which does list his The Jesuit, a picture of manners and character from the first quarter of the eighteenth century, London, Edward Bull, 1839. Sadleir includes none of his works.
Not in Sadleir or Wolff.More details Price: £600.00
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 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 Ramble of Philo;
And His Man Sturdy.
Dublin, W. Gilbert [&c.], 1789.
First Dublin Edition. 12mo (180 x 110 mm), pp. xi, [i], 273, , some light foxing in the text, which is printed on fairly poor quality paper in a dense text block and small type face, in contemporary plain calf, flat spine simply ruled in gilt, red morocco label lettered in gilt, some wear to extremities and a couple of small stains on the lower cover but generally good, with the contemporary ownership inscription ‘J. Congreve May 30th 1789’ on the title-page, with a shelf-mark (or price?) on the front endpaper and with the contemporary heraldic bookplate of John Congreve.
A scarce ramble novel first published by William Lane at the Minerva Press in 1788. A well-established and popular genre by this date, the present… (more)
A scarce ramble novel first published by William Lane at the Minerva Press in 1788. A well-established and popular genre by this date, the present novel has all the prescribed elements including a peripatetic travel narrative featuring a male hero, in this instance an unworldly country gentleman flanked with a male servant as travelling companion, an easy comic style and frequent encounters with Low-Life figures through which the protagonist learns valuable lessons as he approaches maturity. As with many ramble novels, the clue to the present novel’s genre is plainly indicated in the title, ‘The Ramble of Philo’ and in the text which begins ‘Philo, the Hero of this Ramble, was the only son of a gentleman who lived in a sequestered part of England’. William Lane did not invent the ramble novel, which predominated much earlier in the century with such best-sellers as Smollett’s Roderick Random, 1748 and Fielding’s Tom Jones, 1749, but he clearly found a steady market for it as productions such as the present continued to pour out of the Minerva Press throughout the 1780s and into the 1790s. These novels are of particular interest in the light of contemporary gender studies as they represent a male dominated foil to the emerging female-dominated novel of manners led by Fanny Burney.
This is a rather delightful copy despite its plain and modest binding, with a contemporary heraldic bookplate and matching ownership inscription.
ESTC t168150 lists BL, Cambridge, NLI, NT, Harvard, Yale and McMaster; OCLC adds Minnesota.
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.
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, , 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.More details Price: £250.00
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.More details Price: £1,500.00
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, ; -248; [vii], [i], 119, ; -289, , 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.More details Price: £800.00
Various Views of Human Nature, taken from Life and Manners, Foreign and Domestic. In two volumes. Vol. I [-II]. The Second Edition.
Dublin, White [&c], 1789.
Second (Dublin) Edition. Two volumes, 12mo (167 x 92 mm), pp. [ii], 288; [ii], -312, wanting the final endpapers, in contemporary calf, flat spines with red and black morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, with the contemporary ownership inscription ‘Margaret Reynell, Novbr. 1:91’ and a later pencil ownership inscription crossed out, with one full-page pencil drawing and a couple of part page ones.
An attractive copy of a notoriously unsavoury novel, the first work by John Moore, physician and biographer of Smollet. The eponymous protagonist is an irredeemably… (more)
An attractive copy of a notoriously unsavoury novel, the first work by John Moore, physician and biographer of Smollet. The eponymous protagonist is an irredeemably evil Sicilian nobleman whose foul deeds are shown to be born out of an indulgent upbringing at the hands of his widowed mother. The story of his cruel tyranny, rise to power and inevitably wretched end is a surprisingly readable one, made all the more so by the author’s enlightened digressions. For Zeluco is much more than just a novel with gothic overtones: it is an enlightenment tale of English and European manners which tackles subjects such as slavery and religious intolerance.
From the first London edition of 1789, Zeluco was a best-selling novel, republished several times in England and Ireland and also translated into French. In contemporary society, it secured Moore a place alongside Richardson, Fielding and Smollett as one of the greatest living novelists. Anna Laetitia Barbauld selected it in 1810 for her series of the best British novels and Byron declared it to have been one of his favourite childhood books. In the preface to Childe Harold, he writes that his hero was intended to be ‘perhaps a poetical Zeluco’.
John Gillies wrote in the Monthly Review: ‘This is not a common novel. The author’s mind is stored with useful knowlege, and adorned with elegant literature. He appears to have read the great book of life with attention and profit... Unlike most modern novels, which have little other merit but that of exciting curiosity, and which are thrown aside as soon as the curiosity is gratified, the story, or fable, in this performance, is to be considered merely as the canvas, on which this skilful observer of life and manners delineates such moral pictures as are likel to excite the attention of his age and country’ (MR 80, June 1789, pp. 511-512).
‘Religion teaches, that Vice leads to endless misery in a future state; and experience proves, that in spite of the gayest and most prosperous appearances, inward misery accompanies her; for, even in this life, her ways are ways of wretchedness, and all her paths are woe... Tracing the windings of vice and delineating the disgusting features of villainy are unpleasant tasks; and some people cannot bear to contemplate such a picture... it is fair, therefore, to warn readers of this turn of mind not to peruse the story of Zeluco’ (Chapter I, pp. 1-2).
Despite the gripping nature of this novel, one reader evidently found her (or his) attention wandering sufficiently to find time for several sketches. A surprising number of pages have also been turned down at the corner, suggesting a laborious approach to reading the text. Perhaps this reader should have taken note of Moore’s warning in the first chapter, and given up in the attempt to peruse the story.
ESTC t180904, listing Cambridge, Dublin City Libraries, NLI, Royal College of Physicians, Cornell, Library Company, Princeton and Texas.
Garside, Raven & Schöwerling 1789:54; Hardy 643; Block p. 165.More details Price: £150.00