First edition of the soldier-author Ayscough’s version of Voltaire’s tragedy on the life of the Assyrian queen Shammuramat.more...
‘In December 1776 Ayscough’s version of Voltaire's tragedy Sémiramis (1748) was staged at Drury Lane. The play, dedicated to Ayscough's brother-in-law Sir James Cockburn and published by J. Dodsley, incorporated an epilogue by Richard Sheridan. The editor of the London Review dismissed the piece as ‘not worth quarrelling about’ ... Nevertheless, Ayscough’s tragedy was performed eleven times, earning the author three crowded benefit nights. It appears that Ayscough recruited his brother officers to attend the first night of the play and he addressed them directly in his prologue, promising them ‘(this great bus'ness ended) / He'll gladly re-assume the Sash once more’. Ayscough died on 14 October 1779’ (Oxford DNB). This copy is from the Allardyce Nicoll collection, with a sheet bearing his notes..see full details
Sole edition of this collection by a Bungay Quaker poet.more...
By the far the longest poem is the first, ‘The Illustrious Friends’, a violent polemic directed against Thomas Paine and the principles of the Rights of Man. After some 640 lines describing the hell to which the nation would be brought by them, he concludes:
‘Such our Republic will possess, To plague, to torture, and oppress; To force our arbitrary sway, And make our subject Fiends obey: For such is Paine’s and Satan’s plan, The practice of the Rights of Man.’
The subscribers are predominantly East Anglian. This appears to have been Ashby’s only substantial collection, with COPAC recording just one other publication bearing his name, Ode on the Surrender of Paris, to the Allies; July 3d. 1815 (Bungay printed, apparently by the author himself) and another suppositious title, Song of “Old Bungay”: as sung at the Theatre, by Mr. Fisher (Bungay, c. 1816). The British Book Trade Index records him as ‘Printer, Bookseller, Stationer, Publisher’ in 1830..see full details
First edition of this translation, partly by Temple Henry Croker, a native of Cork who spent most of his life in England.more...
His name appears at the end of the life of Ariosto. The ‘Advertisement’ refers to ‘the Translators’, and Croker attributes all but two of the translations to one Reverend Mr. H--rt-n, while admitting responsibility for ‘the second and last’. .see full details
Sole edition of the Carlisle poet’s first collection (his dialect collection Ballads in the Cumberland Dialect followed in 1805).more...
After a brief Quaker education in his home town, Anderson worked as a calico printer and as apprentice to a pattern drawer, a trade which took him to London, where he is said to have been inspired by songs heard at Vauxhall Gardens (Oxford DNB).
This first collection was not widely noticed (in comparison with the Ballads), but the Monthly Visitor, and Pocket Companion of October 1799 devoted a few lines to it. ‘This poet is self-educated, and therefore his productions must not be severely scrutinized ... We, however, are pleased with many parts of this little volume, and can recommend it to our readers.’.see full details
[bound with:] [drop-head title:] Winter Amusements, an Ode read at Lady Miller’s Assembly, December 3d, 1778, pp.more...
8. Sole edition, probably issued with ‘Envy’. Jackson, p. 67.
[and:] An Election Ball, in poetical letters from Mr. Inkle, at Bath, to his wife at Glocester. The fourth edition ... London: Printed for J. Dodsley, 1779, pp. 64, including engraved frontispiece, engraved title vignette; not in Jackson.
[and:] Ad C. W. Bampfylde, arm: epistola poetica familiaris, in qua continentur tabuae quinque ab eo excogitaae, quae personas repraesentat poematum cuiusdam anglicani, cui titulis An Election Ball. Auctore C. Anstey, arm: Bath: impensis auctoris excudebat S. Hazard: prostant venales apud S. Hazard, & W. Hibbart. J. Dodsley, J. Wilkie, [London] Fletcher & Hodson, [Cambridge] & J. Fletcher, [Oxford], 1776, First edition, pp. 42; engraved ornament (lyre & easel) to title, 4 illustrations (after Bampfylde) to text (one with imprint partially added in minute contemporary manuscript). First edition. Jackson, p. 43.
[and:] [GRAY, Thomas., Christopher ANSTEY, translator.] Elegia script in Coemeerio Rustico ... Latinè reddita. Editio nova prioribus emendatior. London: Prostant venales apud J. Dodsley ..., 1778, pp. , 15, , engraved vignette to title. Not in Jackson.
[and:] A Pindaric Epistle, addressed to Lord Buckhorse. First printed in the Year 1766. A new edition ... London: Printed for J. Dodsley, 1779, pp. -67, , without half-title, engraved portrait vignette to title. This edition not in Jackson.
[and:] On the much lamented death of the Marquis of Tavistock ... The Fifth Edition. London: Printed for J. Dodsley, 1778, pp. 7, .
[and:] Speculation; or a defence of mankind: a Poem. London: Printed for the author, and sold by J. Dodsley, 1780, pp. , 52, . First edition. Jackson, p. 83.
8 works bound together, 4to (232 × 171 mm) mostly in half-sheets; contemporary sprinkled calf, spine ruled in gilt, red morocco label; engraved bookplate of the Earls of Granard; rubbed, with some insect damage, joints starting, spine chipped at head but excellent copies in a good contemporary binding.
‘A few years after the publication of the New Bath Guide in 1766, Christopher Anstey came into contact with Captain and Mrs. Miller and became a member of the famous “poetical coterie” at Batheaston’ (Munby). Horace Walpole, describing their activities in a letter of January 5th 1775, said that they held ‘a Parnassus fair every Thursday, [and] give out rhymes and themes and all the flux of quality at Bath contend for the prizes.’ Much of this collection relates to these gatherings.
Envy was written for one of the Batheaston Vase Competitions, though was completed too late for submission. It has added to it Winter Amusements, an Ode, which is separately paginated and is usually listed as a separate work. A Dodsley advertisement at the end of this collection, however, makes clear that copies of Envy could be bought with the addition of Winter Amusements and Dodsley probably sold off remaining copies of Winter Amusements with Envy.
The fourth edition of An Election Ball is scarce, with ESTC locating 4 copies (all in the US, none in the UK), and it is apparently a straightforward reprint of the third edition. It does not contain the illustrations by Bampfylde, which only appeared in the fifth edition, having first appeared in the Latin Epistola poetica familiaris composed by Anstey and addressed to Bampfylde, being the next bound item in this collection.
Thomas Gray’s Elegy in Latin is the second edition of Anstey’s translation the first having appeared at Cambridge in 1762, his first publication. A Pindaric Epistle, a late edition, has a lengthy ‘Appendix’ consisting of a one act play ‘containing the Author’s Conversation with his Bookseller, &c. &c.’ The final advertisement to Speculation is frequently wanting..see full details
Sole edition of this anonymous New Bath Guide spin-off consisting of four witty letters in poetic form purporting to be by members of one family (surnamed ‘W—P—E’), in imitation of Anstey and his Blunderhead family .more...
It concludes with a good-humoured hunting invitation to Anstey. It was noted by both the Critical and Monthly Reviews, the former commending the author as ‘no despicable poet’..see full details
Published against a backdrop of the Seven Years’ War, Akenside’s address to the country gentlemen of England was intended to rouse them and their tenants to the defence of their country. Deploring the tendency for British interests to be left to mercenary troops in the pay of the British Army (’slavish ruffians hir’d for their command’), Akenside appeals to the historic sensibilities of the gentry of ‘heedless Albion.’
The poem was also printed in full in the London magazine, or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer, of April 1758 and at least one provincial journal, the Newcastle General Magazine, in the same month..see full details
Sole edition of Devotional Pieces, consisting of Anna Laetitia’s essay ‘On Devotional Taste’ in which she sets out her controversial view of devotion as a taste or sensation, followed by 96 re-workings of the psalms.more...
The essay is dedicated to her father, John Aikin, professor of divinity at the Warrington Academy.
It is bound here after the first Irish edition of Miscellaneous Pieces, first published by Johnson in 1773. This collection of ten jointly-authored pieces includes essays on comedy, science and monastic institutions. ‘One, “On romances”, an imitation of Samuel Johnson, earned his praise; another, ‘Against inconsistency in our expectations’, was admired for its ethical argument and stylistic elegance’ (Oxford DNB)..see full details
Shakespeare’s metaphysical poem on the theme of idealised and mystical love was first published in the Supplement to Robert Chester’s Love’s Martyr (1601). In it, the phoenix and the turtle dove are joined in eternal love and burn themselves alive.
A leading figure in the Nouvelle École de Paris, Léon Gischia continued to produce and exhibit avant-garde work throughout the German occupation, despite repeated denunciation for degeneracy. He also produced designs for the theatre, notably for the production in French of Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral at the théâtre du Vieux Colombier in 1945. .see full details
One of 100 copies, this example one of 65 on Whatman paper, of Uzanne’s influential edition of de Sade’s most important and enduring critical essay.more...
It had first appeared as a preface to Les crimes de l’amour (1799) and sought to trace the origins and development of the modern or psychological novel from classical literature to the eighteenth-century works of Rousseau, Voltaire, De Graffigny, Marivaux and Crébillon fils and in de Sade’s own Aline et Valcourt. De Sade identifies Richardson and Fielding as the masters of the genre (‘C’est Richardson, c’est Fielding qui nous ont appris que l’étude profonde du coeur de l’homme, véritable dédale de la nature, peut seul inspirer le romancier...’) and he prefers Lewis to Radcliffe among gothic novelists. He also denies his authorship of Justine, attributed to him by contemporaries, writing ‘jamais je n’ai fait de tels ouvrages, et je n’en ferai sûrement jamais.’
Uzanne adds a bio-bibliographical preface, the latter portion providing a checklist of de Sade’s works and a critical overview of nineteenth-century studies..see full details
First edition of a bestselling epistolary novel.more...
It purports to be a collection of letters by the famous courtesan, Anne ‘Ninon’ de Lenclos (1620-1705, friend of Boileau, La Fontaine, Racine and Molière) to Madame de Sevigné. Voltaire (and others) wrongly assumed the author to be Crébillon fils. It was frequently reprinted and translated into several European languages (including the English translation by Elizabeth Griffith, who assumed them to be genuine)..see full details
The limitation notice reads ‘This Edition is issued to Subscribers only and limited to two hundred and fifty copies, numbered and signed by the Author. The price will be doubled after first of March, 1931’. This copy is, however, unsigned and unnumbered. The work forms issue no. 5 of The Lugano Series.
‘From 1920 until 1937 Douglas was settled in Florence... As his fame grew, he became much visited by inter-war writers, and forged close friendships with D. H. Lawrence and Bryher. During these years he lived with the publisher Giuseppe (Pino) Orioli, who helped him publish several limited editions, most of which were later commercially published in London... In 1937 Douglas was forced to flee Florence after the police made enquiries concerning his friendship with a ten-year-old local girl’ (Katherine Mullin in Oxford DNB). .see full details
Dumas’s Kean was first performed in Paris just three years after the English actor’s death and was re-invented by Sartre in the 1950s for Pierre Brasseur, on the actor’s suggestion.more...
The premiere took place on 14 November 1953 and was directed by A.-M Julien. This copy of the programme is signed by Brasseur and by Roger Pigaut, Claude Gensac and Georges Paumier. The play was a great success and was published by Gallimard in 1954..see full details
An apparently unrecorded issue of this anonymous anti-freemasonry sermon: also printed in the same year as Masonry the Way to Hell.more...
The sermon takes as its text Revelation XVII, 5 “And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and Abominations of the Earth” and gives a detailed consideration of the supposed ceremonies of the masons. Three other editions/issues dated 1768 are known, one with a Robinson and Roberts imprint paginating [iv], 39,  (NY Historical Society only) and a stated “Second edition” with the same imprint and pagination (BL and Clark Library, UCLA only), together with a Dublin reprint. All three are recorded by ESTC in single copies only. The Sermon provoked a response from John Thompson, freemason, entitled Remarks on a sermon lately published; entitled, Masonry the way to hell. Being a defence of that antient and honourable order, against the Jesuitical sophistry and false calumny of the author (1768, BL only)..see full details
A delightful edition in ‘petit format’ by Valade, who pioneered the format before it was made ubiquitous by his successor Cazin.more...
The Londres and Liège imprints, of course, are false (Le petit format, Paris, 1878). The Contes moraux had first appeared individually in the Mercure, with a collected edition of 1761. The plates in our Valade edition are well-executed reductions of the Gravelot plates found in the first illustrated edition of 1763..see full details
The entertainments of the evening included Thomas Morton’s The Slave (1816) with the main character, Gambia, played by Mr Cooper, followed by music (including the first British appearance of celebrated Belgian violinist Charles Auguste de Bériot), a one act comic farce The Sultan and a ‘Serio-comic Operatic Bombastic Piece’ entitled Amoroso.more...