First edition of a pastoral meditation on peace and war, dedicated to the author’s brother, Viscount Feilding.more...
‘These two brothers seems a modern Amphion and Zethus [Horace]. Of the poem, in the language of Dr. Johnson, “it is sufficient blame to say, that it is a pastoral.” Yet, as Pope said of his own pastorals, we think it “something better;” and of the genius of this young writer, from this, and other fugitive pieces that we have seen, we have a very advantageous opinion, as well as of his heart. The fraternal affection which inspires this poem... is a new subject for an Eclogue... The two Brothers, under the names of Damon and Dorylas, are the interlocutors, enlarging on the praise of their respective pursuits, Peace and War, the pastoral (or learned), and the military life’ (Gentleman’s Magazine).
Feilding was a cousin of novelist Henry Fielding and this is his only separately published work. Among the papers relating to Garrick and his circle at the Folger Library is a 76-line autograph poem by him: ‘An elegy to the memory of David Garrick’..see full details
Sole edition, though there may be two issues not clearly recorded: this copy has a short errata list to the verso of p.more...
112, where ESTC reports a ‘slip’ inserted after p. 112. This is an interesting fusion of poetry with serious historical enquiry, presented with copious footnotes. Besides a small collection of poems published while at Oxford (1786) it is the author’s earliest major work, the first of several well-regarded antiquarian studies. It was on the strength of its favourable reviews that Fosbrooke was elected to the Society of Antiquaries in the year of publication. The dedication reads ‘The work is inscribed from motives of gratitude to Edw. Jenner, M.D. F.R.S. &c. A gentleman of eminent knowledge in the art of medicine, and the history and philosophy of nature.’?.see full details
An Irish Catholic priest and antiquary, ‘Eustace was the intimate friend of Edmund Burke, his confidential adviser, and his companion in his last illness’ (DNB). ‘THE AUTHOR takes the Liberty of observing, that after having alluded, in the eighth Stanza, to Mr. Burke’s elegant Treatise on the Sublime, which first introduced him to public Notice, he has attempted to sketch out his political conduct in the American War, during the debates on Irish independence, and, at the beginning of the French Revolution...’ (Advertisement).
Eustace later became known for his two-volume Tour through Italy (known in later editions as A Classical Tour through Italy and Sicily)..see full details
A verse satire on Harrogate society and those visiting the town for treatment at its increasingly-fashionable baths. In a notice of this work the Monthly Review poked fun at the contemporary tide of ‘spa literature’:
‘Our public watering places are plainly no Helicons; witness the various poetic spawn of Bath, Tunbridge, &c.
Where bathing nymphs and purging streams unite, /To make us write and sh—, and sh— and write.’
The poem remains unattributed: the use of ‘Martinus Scriblerus’ as a generic name for a satirist began with the Scriblerus Club of the 1730s (with Pope, Swift, Gay, Artbuthnot, Parnell, etc). While The Humours of Harrogate makes brief mention of Swift, it has no connection to the Club. .see full details
First edition, a Miltonic verse paraphrase of the book of Ecclesiastes, much admired by John Wesley, who called it ‘a surprising poem’ that showed greater understanding of the ‘difficult expressions and the connection of the whole’ better than any other ancient or modern writer.more...
ESTC notes: ‘Sometimes ascribed to Walter Braddie or Brodick; also to N. Higgins, who merely re-edited the work (Halkett and Laing, vol. I, 330)’. Further editions appeared in 1768 and 1778..see full details
.. the second edition, altered and corrected, with several additions. Exeter: Printed by R. Trewman and Son, for G. G. and J. Robinson, G. and T. Wilkie, and G. Kearsley, London; and J. Bell, Edinburgh, 1790, pp. 256, errata slip tipped in at rear; upper portion of pp. 153-4 torn away (no loss and neatly repaired).
Two works bound together, 8vo (180 × 110 mm); contemporary vellum, gilt; later bookplates.
The Edinburgh edition of Infancy has a very attractive vignette frontispiece (unsigned, but with imprint ‘Printed by E. Brain’) entitled ‘Parental affection’..see full details
Second, enlarged edition, almost twice as long as the first of 1762.more...
In 4 books, with copious supporting notes, the poem is much indebted to contemporary philosophers, not to mention Milton; among those cited are Ferguson, Lord Kames, Leibnitz, Law, Shaftesbury, Bolingbroke, and Voltaire.
Duncan had been a military chaplain and served with the King's Own regiment during the Scots' uprising of 1745–6 and later at the siege of St Philip's, Minorca. In 1763 he gained the rectory of South Warnborough, Hampshire, which he retained until his death..see full details
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