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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.

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  • FIELDING, Henry (1707-1754).
    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, [1], 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, [1], 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, [8], 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.

    View basket More details Price: £4,000.00
  • 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 Lottery of Life, by LYTTLETON, Mr.
    LYTTLETON, Mr.
    The Lottery of Life, or the Romance of a Summer. In three volumes. By Mr. Lyttleton, the Author of Isabel. Vol. I [-III]. London, Minerva Press, 1802.

    First Edition. Three volumes, 12mo, (174 x 98mm), pp. [iv], 270, [2] advertisements; [iv], 276; [iv], 243, [1], some browning in text, at times quite heavy, in contemporary pink half calf over pink mottled boards, the spines simply ruled, lettered and numbered in gilt.

    A scarce novel by a popular Minerva Press author, who wrote several titles, all published at the Minerva Press and all now scarce: Isabel, or… (more)

    A scarce novel by a popular Minerva Press author, who wrote several titles, all published at the Minerva Press and all now scarce: Isabel, or the orphan of Valdarno, London 1802; The German Sorceress, London 1803; La Belle Sauvage, London 1803 and Fiesco, count of Lavagne, London 1805. Despite the number of his productions and his evident popularity, it has proved very hard to establish anything about Mr. Lyttleton himself.
    A sentimental novel set partly in London and partly at the castle and country estate of the hero, Sir Bevil Grimston, in Yorkshire in the north of England. The novel focuses largely on courtship and romance, with the country setting juxtaposed with the fashionable antics, ‘and all the sumptuous luxury and pleasures’, of London. After a series of disasters, much weeping and talk of elopements, along with the opposition of key characters and the prejudice of society itself, the course of true love eventually runs smooth and obstacles of class are swept aside in the happy union.
    ‘It is generally allowed to be more difficult to describe happiness than misery; the sagacious reader will instantly see the reason of this to be, that with the former but few are acquainted - with the latter, almost all. We will not, therefore, enlarge on the felicity of Bevil and Jessy, but leave it wholly to the imagination of our readers’ (III, 242).
    The novel received a generally positive review from the normally acerbic Critical Review: ‘This is a performance which has a fair claim to a mediocrity of praise. Where the authour pursues the thread of his history, and relates the adventures of his principal characters, his manner is simple and impressive; yet, in his digressions, he is vague and languid. Mr. Lyttleton’s thoughts on seduction are both just and pathetic: but we hope he will another time avoid the ridiculous affectation of quoting Latin scraps, in a work that is read by that class of persons only who are not likely to understand them’ (Critical Review, May 1803, p. 115).

    Blakey p. 202; Garside, Raven and Schöwerling 1802:38; Summers, A Gothic Bibliography, p. 391.

    OCLC lists Corvey, Quincy, Harvard, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and University of Virginia.

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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.

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  • The Pastor's Fire-Side, by PORTER, Jane
    PORTER, Jane
    The Pastor's Fire-Side, a Novel, in Four Volumes. By Miss Jane Porter, author of Thaddeus of Warsaw, Sidney’s Aphorisms, and the Scottish Chiefs. Vol. I [-IV]. London, Longman &c., 1817.

    First Edition. Four volumes, 12mo (168 x 94 mm), pp. [ii], 323; [ii],405; [ii], 403; [ii], 500, lacking the half-titles, in contemporary red half-morocco over red and blue marbled boards, flat spines ruled, lettered and numbered in gilt, marbled edges, with an early ownership inscription partly cropped from the title-pages and a small heraldic booklabel lettered ‘M.A.’ in each volume.

    An attractive copy of this popular historical romance by Jane Porter, set in the eighteenth century in Lindisfarne and following the fortunes of the members… (more)

    An attractive copy of this popular historical romance by Jane Porter, set in the eighteenth century in Lindisfarne and following the fortunes of the members of the royal house of Stuart. The villain in The Pastor’s Fire-Side, Duke Wharton, is said to have been based on Lord Byron. Thomas McLean, in his essay ‘Jane Porter and the Wonder of Lord Byron’, describes Wharton as having ‘an unmistakably Byronic shadow’.
    ‘This novel shows a more than usually acute sense of local colour in its delineation of the area around Lindisfarne, of which Porter may have refreshed her early acquaintance when she went in 1804 to nurse her friend the man of letters Percival Stockdale’ (Dorothy McMillan in ODNB). The Porters lived around Bamburgh and Lindisfarne during Jane’s youth.

    Garside, Raven & Schöwerling 1817:49.

    View basket More details Price: £650.00
  • The Patient Parson forgetting his Text; by [PATIENT PARSON.]
    [PATIENT PARSON.]
    The Patient Parson forgetting his Text; Or, the Hogs in the Ale Cellar. London, 1791.

    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.

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  • ‘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
  • The Political and Confidential Correspondence by BABIÉ DE BERCENAY, François.SULPICE IMBERT, Comte de la Platière (1723-1809).WILLIAMS, Helen Maria (1762-1827)
    BABIÉ DE BERCENAY, François.
    SULPICE IMBERT, Comte de la Platière (1723-1809).
    WILLIAMS, Helen Maria (1762-1827)
    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, [1]; [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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • The Tutor; or, by KELLY, Hugh (1739-1777).
    KELLY, Hugh (1739-1777).
    The Tutor; or, The History of George Wilson and Lady Fanny Melfont. London, T. Vernor, 1771.

    First Edition. Two volumes, 12mo (175 x 110 mm), pp. [ii], iv, 211; [ii], 235, a few small tears, notably I, 59 and II, 45, through text but with no loss, marginal tear on II, 95, with loss of a small portion of margin and very close to the catchword and last word on page but without actual textual loss, text slightly browned, in contemporary plain calf, spines with raised bands, red morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, slightly worn at extremities and some rubbing to the boards, but generally an excellent copy, contemporary shelfmark on the pastedown of the first volume, ‘Mr Moncrieffe’ written upside down on the verso of the first title-page, slightly cropped.

    A scarce epistolary novel by the Irish born dramatist and poet from Killarney, County Kerry. The son of a Dublin publican whose financial problems caused… (more)

    A scarce epistolary novel by the Irish born dramatist and poet from Killarney, County Kerry. The son of a Dublin publican whose financial problems caused Kelly to be removed from school and apprenticed to a staymaker. In 1760, he left Ireland for London where, after various manual and clerical jobs, he turned his hand to writing. His earliest attempts were small pieces for newspapers and pamphlets commissioned by booksellers, but in 1766, he published Thespis, or, a Critical Examination into the Merits of all the Principle Performers belonging to Drury Lane, a long poem in heroic couplets about prominent members of the acting profession which included harsh criticism of many of the leading actors of the day. The poem brought him success and some notoriety, sufficiently to encourage a second part in which he satirised the actors of Covent Garden. This was followed by his first novel, Memoirs of a Magdalene, 1767, on which William Kenrick based his play, The Widowed Wife, which was staged the same year. In the following year, Kelly’s own play, False Delicacy, was produced by Garrick at Drury Lane. A moral and sentimental comedy in prose, False Delicacy was extremely popular and was translated into several languages. The French and Portuguese versions were performed to great acclaim in Paris and Lisbon.
    ‘The benevolent and virtuous sentiments which abound in this performance are a great recommendation of it. They soften the brow of the critic; and, while they induce him to respect the heart of its Author, they excite in him a regret, that he cannot express the highest admiration of his genius’, wrote Gilbert Stuart in the Monthly Review 45:332, October 1771.
    A Dublin edition was published ten years later, a slightly unusual delay in republishing what is now a very scarce novel, probably explained by the Irish nationality of the author. The Dublin edition has a slightly different title, reading ‘Lady Frances Melfont’ in place of the original ‘Lady Fanny Melfont’ and, more significantly, adds the phrase ‘By the Author of False delicacy, Louisa Mildmay, The Trial, and History of Lord Stanton’, which reveals the identity of the author as Hugh Kelly. The Dublin edition is similarly scarce, ESTC (t209247) listing copies at NLI and Illinois only.

    ESTC n24384 lists copies at Chicago and Yale Universities; OCLC adds Tilburg University.

    Garside, Raven & Schöwerling 1771:42.

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  • Peaky Blinders meets Tarantino in dark tale set in Spain, California and Mexico
    [VIRTUOUS.]
    The Virtuous Criminal; or, the History of Lord Stanley. Translated from the French. In two volumes. Vol. I [-II]. London, F. and J. Noble, 1759.

    First Edition. Two volumes, 12mo (162 x 90 mm), pp. xi, [i], 204; [2] advertisements, [ii], 200, in contemporary plain unlettered calf, spines simply ruled and numbered in gilt, slightly rubbed at extremities.

    A scarce and very dark gothic novel rippling with murders, abductions and incest; with mistaken identities, forgeries and treacherous servants; with corridor creeping, midnight flights… (more)

    A scarce and very dark gothic novel rippling with murders, abductions and incest; with mistaken identities, forgeries and treacherous servants; with corridor creeping, midnight flights to convents, ambushed carriages, forced marriages and a series of blood baths where under cover of darkness characters accidentally stab their own fathers, daughters, wives or best friends. The unlucky hero, young Lord Stanley, is a party to most of these dire events which begin in London and take him to Gibraltar, Spain, California and Mexico. The Monthly Review of January 1759 commented simply ‘Absurdity throughout!’ (Monthly Review, xx 81 Jan 1759). This is the first and only edition, purportedly translated from the French, although we have been unable to identify any French original.
    The style of the narrative is set early when young Stanley finds that his passion for Lord Milton’s beautiful daughter, Charlotte, is opposed by his father on the grounds of jealousy. The dutiful Charlotte follows her father’s wishes rather than her own inclination and marries the father. Tragedy then ensues when the young people meet late at night to say a sorrowful goodbye and are discovered in the summer house by Stanley’s father. In his fury, the father draws his sword and slays Charlotte, while young Stanley draws on the intruder and kills him, realising only minutes later that it his own father who lies at his feet bleeding to death. Stanley flees England and goes to live in Gilbraltar, where he rescues two beautiful young ladies from brigands. They invite him back to their castle in Spain where he stays for long enough to form a firm friendship with one of the brothers, Don Cesar, and to fall foul of the other, Don Lopez. Predictably, he falls in love with one of the sisters, Seraphina, who returns his love, but less conveniently, so does her sister, Victoria. When the latter, realising that Stanley loves her sister and wishing to escape the advances of an unpleasant suitor, escapes under cover of darkness to go to a convent, the wicked suitor, Don Alvar, ‘inhuman Ravisher’, intercepts her carriage and takes her to his castle. Stanley and Don Cesar gallop to her rescue only to see her murdered in front of their eyes by the hateful Spaniard. All of this is complicated enough without the next revelation, which is that Don Lopez has evil designs on his own sister which he hopes to realise by arranging and intercepting a forced elopement with his friend, Don Ramir. Stanley and Don Cesar are badly wounded trying to protect Seraphina, but although Don Lopez is killed, Don Ramir manages to abduct Seraphina. Stanley and Don Cesar pursue the pair all the way to Santa Cruz in California and on into Mexico where Don Ramir is a guest of the Viceroy. Don Ramir turns out to the most treacherous yet of a pretty wicked set of villains and more bloodshed follows, as forged letters, night time trysts and disguises result in another backfiring crime of passion as the Viceroy’s daughter meets her death. Finally, with corpses littering the way, Stanley bears the wounded Seraphina back to Santa Cruz and so to Spain, where they are married and live happily ever after.

    ESTC t179092 and OCLC both list Rylands and Harvard only.

    Raven 476; not in Block or Summers.

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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.

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  • PENINGTON, Isaac (1616-1679).
    Three Queries Propounded to the King and Parliament, in the Fear of the Most High, and in the tender love of my soul to them. London, 1662.

    First Edition. 4to, (208 x 150mm), pp. 8, caption title, text fairly browned, dusty and creased, printed on a single sheet and folded as issued.

    A controversial pamphlet in which Penington pleads for an end to the persecution of the Quakers. He warns the government that they are likely to… (more)

    A controversial pamphlet in which Penington pleads for an end to the persecution of the Quakers. He warns the government that they are likely to be overthrown if they continue on the present course. The upheavals which happened earlier in the century, when those in power were destroyed and the humble were empowered by God, could easily happen again. ‘Go on, try it out with the Spirit of the Lord, come forth with your Laws and Prisons and spoiling of our goods and Banishment and Death (if the Lord please) and see if ye can carry it’ (p. 6).
    The son of a presbyterian regicide of the same name, Isaac Penington became a Quaker in the 1650s, along with two of his siblings, while his brother Arthur became a Catholic priest. He courted trouble with the authorities, both in his writings, in which he criticised false worship and condemned religious persecution, and in his actions, openly attending banned meetings and on one occasion being imprisoned for refusing to address the Earl of Bridgewater as ‘my lord’. His writings generally related to the inner workings of the spirit and he holds an important place in Quaker history as a leading proponent of the contemplative life based on meditation and self-denial. This pamphlet is one of a number of writings published during the most public time of his life when he was under scrutiny by the authorities: during the next ten years he was to spend long and repeated stretches in prison, where he composed many of his most inflammatory works.

    Wing P1208; ESTC r220473.

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  • 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.

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