First edition, with at least 5 more editions of the same year, of this satire on the House of Commons.more...
The title vignette depicts Oliver Cromwell supporting the much criticised Royal Marriage Bill while the Speaker of the House of Commons uses the rolled-up Bill of Rights and Magna Carta as a footstool. Beneath are lines from Thomas Otways’ Venice Preserv'd.
‘Thus our SENATORS cheat the deluded People with a shew / Of LIBERTY, which yet they ne’er must taste of; / Drive us like Wrecks down the rough Tide of Power, / Whilst no holds left to save us from destruction.’.see full details
Two smooth elegies in quatrains reminiscent of Gray, in which Delap laments his lack of good health. Educated at Magdalen College, Cambridge, Delap was probably living at Lee Abbey near Canterbury at the time of publication. The majority of his works were dramatic and his Hecuba (1761), a tragedy in three acts and Delap's first dramatic success was produced by Garrick at Drury Lane on 11 December 1761. .see full details
Maria de Fleury (fl. 1773–1791), religious controversialist and hymn writer (and member of the anti-Catholic Protestant Association) was based in Cripplegate, London. As an active member of a circle of moderate Calvinist Baptists and other dissenters, she published several pieces on the theological and political controversies of the day. ‘Immanuel,’ the principal poem here, occupies the first 60 pages. The work includes a few pieces in prose including ‘A summer’s day excursion.’
‘Divine Poems and Essays... has recommendatory prefaces by [John] Ryland and two other evangelical ministers, John Towers and Thomas Wills, in which Towers contends that her theologically assertive style is due to the amount of time she has spent conversing with ministers and is not a sign that her work is by another, more educated person’ (Oxford DNB). .see full details
Second edition, but probably to be considered a completely new collection, much enlarged from the 112 pages of the 1781 edition(also printed in Exeter), with eleven new poems added to the main sequence of love poems, followed by thirty-two ‘Sonnets, presented with the first Impression’ to various Oxford and Exeter friends, an early instance of the sonnet revival.more...
Downman, though a native of Exeter, had pursued his medical studies in Edinburgh, where he boarded with the blind poet Thomas Blacklock. At the end of Thespia is a series of poetical addresses to the author, including complimentary poems by Blacklock, Richard Hole and Richard Polwhele..see full details
First edition of the author’s first book; subscribers included William Beckford, Georgiana Byron, Julia Byron, Capel Lofft, William Paley and Arthur Young.more...
Dallas (1754-1824), later famous as Byron’s biographer, was born in Jamaica and later returned there to live; his sister Henrietta Charles was married to Geroge Anson Byron, the poet’s uncle. Aubin considers his ‘Kirkstall Abbey’ as an example of ‘how much egoism had affected the genre’ of topographical poetry. Loosely inserted is a contemporary review (1797): seven extracted pages from the Monthly Review, together with a manuscript letter of consolation from a descendent of the author (1883), perhaps W.C. Dallas, to his sister.see full details
Born around 1734 in Surrey, Eliza Day was a Methodist and later a Quaker. Though many of her poems were devotional, Poems on various subjects is a diverse collection, including a wonderful opener: ‘Upon a lady losing a sprig of Myrtle, presented to her by her husband, on the morning of their marriage’, mingling Shakespeare (Titania and the fairies), flower lore and folk custom. The long poem ‘The Birth of Genius’ is an ingenious allegory of the creative process; a debate between Pleasure and Application, deriving from Milton's Comus via Thomson's Castle of Indolence and Beattie's The Minstrel and probably inspired by James Bland Burges's recent Birth and Triumph of Love (1796).
The subscribers’ lists contains a high proportion of women and is centred, as we might expect, on British Northern towns. ESTC suggests the title is probably a cancel..see full details
[bound uniformly with:] —— Infancy, or the Management of Children: a didactic Poem, in six Books.more...
The Fifth Edition. Edinburgh: Printed for J. Bell and J. Bradfute; G. G, J. & J. Robinson; G & T. Wilkie, and G. Kearsley, London, 1790, pp. [ii], 199, ;
[and] —— Tragedies. Exeter: Printed by E. Grigg, for G.G. and H. Robinson, G. and T. Wilkie, and G. Kearsley, London; and J. Bell, Edinburgh, 1792, pp. [iv], iv, 322, plus errata slip at rear.
Three vols, 8vo (185 × 110 mm), contemporary sprinkled calf, gilt panelled spines with roundels, red and black labels, the uppermost reading ‘Downman’s works’; slightly rubbed, second vol. wanting headcap, but a handsome set.
A fine contemporary collection of the major poetic works of Downman; Infancy is here complete with all 6 books (which had first appeared together in 1788 after previous partial editions)..see full details
The subscribers’ list includes Cibber, Cowper, Garrick, Johnson and Smollett. Dublin-born (in 1724) Derrick had fled to London with the intention of becoming an actor, before turning his hand to writing. ‘He was acquainted with both Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, whose opinion of him was somewhat ambivalent. Johnson, while having “a kindness’”for him, on being asked which was the finer poet, Derrick or Christopher Smart, replied that there was “no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea” (Boswell, 272, 1214). Boswell, though an associate of Derrick during his first trip to London in 1760, later turned against this “little blackguard pimping dog”’ (Oxford DNB). In 1763 he became Master of Ceremonies at Bath, where he lived until his death in 1769..see full details
Crane’s Poems were first printed in 1812, all editions are rare.more...
The book is complete in two parts: following page 334 and one additional poem (unpaginated) is the separate title ‘The London Wakes, a vision; dedicated, without permission, to the Bailiff & Aldermen of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. By the Bird of Bromsgrove. Stourport: Printed for John Crane, Sen. By M. Nicholson, Stourport; and sold by Joshua Crane, Bromsgrove. The Second Edition...’ .see full details
Sole edition: a copy formerly in a pamphlet volume from library of Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1813), Lord Woodhouselee, who has identified the author of this otherwise unattributed Scots poem in contemporary manuscript on the half-title.more...
‘Description of the Highlands. Its most valuable productions. Manners and character of the natives. The hardships and inconveniences they are subjected to by the law prohibiting their ancient dress. The late emigrations from that country; their causes and effects. A more impartial and liberal policy recommended. Propriety and wisdom of an attention to the peculiarity of their situation. Probable good effects of these on the internal police and strength of the kingdom in general. Danger of neglecting them, and colonizing the boundless regions of the American continent’ (The Argument)..see full details
An elegy on the death of the great Calvinistic Methodist leader, George Whitefield, ‘the eighteenth century's most sensational preacher in Great Britain and America’ (Oxford DNB). Richard de Courcy was born in Ireland in 1743 and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, before becoming a spiritual follower of Lady Huntington. Through her influence, he was ordained by the Bishop of Lichfield; in 1770 he became curate of Sawbury, Shropshire, and in 1774, Vicar of St. Alkmond's, Shrewsbury. His devotional and evangelical publications were numerous. .see full details
First edition of this anonymous contribution to Romantic graveyard poetry, with a fine frontispiece by Michael Angelo Rooker after George Cumberland depicting the author emerging from behind a gravestone before the moonlit wall of a church.more...
Published to less-than-congratulatory reviews, with the Critical Review surmising that it must be the production of a youthful poet, and others choosing to simply praise the elegance of the frontispiece..see full details
Henry Tytler (1752/3-1808, younger brother of James ‘Balloon’ Tytler) was a Scots physician and translator. ‘His model was avowedly Pope's Iliad, in which he had steeped himself by way of preparation; he rendered Callimachus's Hymns and Lock of Berenice into heroic couplets, the epigrams into rhymed tetrameters’ (Oxford DNB). There is a 6-page list of subscribers, almost all Scottish. According to the preface by the Earl of Buchan, ‘the translations now offered to the public are the first from a Greek poet that have been published by a native of Scotland in the English language.’ .see full details
A comic mock-heroic dialogue in London street dialect between three chimney-sweeps, Grim, Dingy and Sooty-Dun. The dialect, described by the Monthly Review as ‘bunter-style and St. Giles’s jaw’ is excused by the anonymous author in a footnote: ‘As this and some similar passages may seem un-grammatical and barbarous to the nicer critics, they are desired before they decide, to peruse the Blackguard’s Grammar, or the Yellow Waistcoat’s Vade Mecum, when the author flatters himself they will allow both the language and style to entirely consonant with the rules laid down in that valuable and learned work.’.see full details
An anonymous versification in anapestic dimeter by ‘a Lady’ of extracts from Chesterfield. While often witty, the versification leaves much to be desired. As the Monthly Review laconically observed: ‘We should be miserably deficient in the Gentleman’s Etiquette, were we to criticise a lady for employing her time as she pleases.’ The elegant title vignette by John Lodge (d. 1796) depicts two gentlemen greeting each other in a room with a Chinese screen and books on the right and a viol on a chair on the left. .see full details
‘In 1791 Cotton's son the Revd Nathaniel Cotton published Various pieces in verse and prose by the late Nathaniel Cotton, M.D., many of which were never before published. Its two volumes collect the Visions, fables, occasional verses such as the frequently anthologized poem ‘The Fireside’, Horatian odes, and five sermons. The third sermon, concerning Psalm 19, verse 12, ‘Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults’, offers an interesting parallel to Cowper's ‘Self-acquaintance’. Cotton's fables refer to family members and seem intended for private use. In ‘A Fable’ gentle autobiographical satire unfolds as a poetic Owl, puffed with praise, hoots that he will replace Colley Cibber as poet laureate’ Oxford DNB)..see full details
Cheetham was a pupil at the Manchester Grammar School and the Odes are dedicated to his headmaster, Charles Lawson; they were published when he was 18 or 19 just as he was going up to Oxford. He is believed to have died soon after, at about the age of 22, having published a further collection, Poems, in 1799. This is a delightful Stockport-printed edition with an array of finely executed wood-engraved ornaments as tailpieces. The Critical Review dedicated several pages to this schoolboy poet and was not entirely dismissive. .see full details