Illustrator Irène Lagut is a fascinating figure: romantically associated with several figures (female and male) in Picasso’s circle, she was abducted by him in 1916. She escaped, but became his lover, pupil and muse for several years— his painting The Lovers of 1923 is apparently a self portrait of the couple. Her own drawings (like Picasso’s of the same period) depict harlequins, children and horses. This collection, by another lover, Radiguet, is dedicated to Cocteau..see full details
First edition, the artist’s first illustrated book.more...
This copy number 70 of 100 copies on Van Gelder (of a total edition of 115), initialled by artist and publisher. An illustrated translation of 6 Whitman poems: Une femme m’attend. - Le corps d’un homme aux enchères. - J’ai traversé naguère une ville populeuse. - Combien de temps fûmes-nous entravés, nous deux. - Vingt-huit jeunes hommes se baignent près du rivage. - Chant pour toutes les mers, tous les navires. Lurçat later became known for his revival of tapestry in contemporary art, but in Paris before the Great War he had met Matisse, Cézanne, Matisse and Renoir and befriended Rilke. He later exhibited with Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Derain and Dufy..see full details
One of the most popular eighteenth-century English books of poetry for children — more than a dozen editions over the next fifty years. Cotton, a physician by training (at Leiden, under Hermann Boerhaave) ran a private lunatic asylum in St. Albans and he is now best remembered for his kindness and care for Cowper during Cowper's first period of insanity.see full details
An autograph copy of a classic text of French orientalism, made by the author for his wife and inscribed ‘À Etelka, ma femme bien-aimée, qui est pour moi toute la splendour du monde et toute la poësie.more...
Franz Toussaint. Mai 1936.’
Le Jardin des caresses. Traduit de l'arabe, consisting of Toussaint’s interpretation of Moorish poems, partly anonymous, written in tenth-century Spain, first appeared serially in the Mercure de France and Revue de Paris in 1909-1911, then published together in 1911 and reprinted and translated in numerous editions throughout the twentieth century (the Golden Cockerel Press printed an English edition in 1934). Its numerous short stanzas, whose titles include: ‘Les Seins, les yeux, et la chevelure’, ‘Les oiseaux de la mosquée’, ‘La Sultane de l’amour’, ‘Al Maghreb’, ‘Les Sorciers’, ‘L’Astronome’ and ‘La Volupueuse’proved especially suitable for musical settings and so the work also found huge popularity in song.
Toussaint is an interesting figure, both a respected scholarly translator of Arabic and other eastern languages, and a director of silent films, the best-known of which is Inch’Allah of 1922. This appealing little manuscript was evidently made by the author as a gift for his second wife, Turkish-born Adelaïde Etelca Stefania Braggiotti, who he married in 1925. .see full details
First edition, Roscoe’s second issue, Fleeman’s fourth state.more...
First published in December 1764 Goldsmith’s philosophical poem is the first of his works to bear his name on the title-page. Taking its cue from from the French philosophes the poem is recounted by a lonely wanderer observing the character of the inhabitants of the nations, noting the effects of climate and the deleterious influence of wealth and luxury.
‘Where wealth and freedom reign, contentment fails, / And honor sinks where commerce long prevails’.
Samuel Johnson contributed lines 420 and 429-38 (and reviewed the work for the Critical Review, Dec. 1764). Goldsmith made numerous early revisions and this copy is an example of the fourth state (Fleeman)..see full details
An abridgement for children of Milton’s account of Adam and Eve, by the celebrated actress Sarah Siddons (1755-1831). Siddons’ admiration for Milton was lifelong: ‘By the age of ten she was already responsive to the poetry of Milton … Perhaps his curious combination of sensuality and austerity gave particular satisfaction to this girl who, as a woman said that she feared to play Shakespeare’s Cleopatra as she should be played’. After her official retirement in 1813, Siddons gave frequent dramatic readings of Milton and Shakespeare – as represented by Lawrence’s portrait of her with works by both authors –and Paradise Lost was her preferred text. Manvell suggests that Milton’s ‘strong dramatic sense and the grandeur of his rhetoric must have excited her’, but Siddons also saw the merits of his material for a juvenile audience. As she describes in the Preface to the present work, she completed her abridgements for the use of her own children that they might develop ‘an early admiration’ of Milton, and now chooses to issue them for public consumption. The work provoked particular invective from the London Magazine, which acknowledged Siddons’ greatness but was aggravated by her Miltonian foray: ‘could she really condescend to become an authoress on the strength of an eighteen-penny copy of paradise lost and a pair of scissors?’ The reviewer accuses John Murray of being blinded by Siddons’ fame in his agreement to publish the work. The Story of our first Parents was issued in the same year under the separate title, Abridgement of Paradise Lost, which is identical in every other respect. Perhaps the variants were intended to appeal to separate adult and juvenile audiences..see full details
First edition, extremely scarce, of this dramatic allegory of Anglo-Irish relations.more...
Trotter’s is a grown-up fairy tale, a masque-like play in which the dramatis personae are given both dramatic and Spenserian allegorical names. The Queen becomes England, Judith is Ireland and the eponymous Cindabright is also the Irish Patriot. A lengthy note explains that Judith’s dialogue references ‘the past state of a country abandoned to all the disadvantages of exclusion from a share in the social and political happiness and prosperity’. Trotter uses to explore a Spenserian world in which Ireland has recourse to question its historical treatment by the English. Trotter believes in the merit of fairies, which here represent Sentiment; she likes ‘their mystified nothings, through which we may detect beautiful wit at times’. In a common refrain over the loss of innocence, Trotter prefixes Cindabright by wondering, ‘Have the wonderful discoveries of modern science put to flight our pleasant fairies, with all their train of fancy play?’ Ultimately, Trotter need not have worried that ‘giant steam, with his real wonders’ would overpowered the products of make believe, for alongside the industrial revolution developed the peculiar Victorian preoccupation with fairies, most obviously articulated in era’s relative profusion of fairy paintings and stories. Seldom however are these corralled into patriotic invective, as here..see full details
A fable in verse by the abolitionist, poet, translator—and creator of landscapes in feathers—Susanna Watts (1768-1842). Watts urges readers not to be misled by the diminutive size of her insect protagonists: ‘The following little fable is not presented to the Public as a mere bagatelle of amusement suggested by the fashionable popularity of Entomology, but under a serious, anxious, and most sincere desire to inculcate respect and tenderness towards all the inferior creatures’. Indeed, animal cruelty was a particular bête noir of Watts, as was slavery, and she published widely on these topics, producing an anti-slavery periodical entitled The Humming Bird (twelve numbers, 1824–5). The Insects in Council encompasses both issues, as when Dragonfly implores his friend the Emmet: ‘Come, free all your slaves, and deserve our / Applause, / And nobly unite in our patriot cause!’. After Watts’ death, the discovery of her scrapbook revealed a remarkable breadth of interests, with entries of poems, mementoes, statistics, portraits (many of women writers), and data on Hindu and Arabic languages, as well as detailed diagrams of the hold of a slave ship. The extraordinary landscapes which she crafted from feathers won a medal from the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (ODNB). .see full details
First edition thus, of this compendium of the poetry of Felicia Hemans (1793–1835).more...
Called ‘the most considerable woman poet of the Romantic period’ (ODNB), Hemans published some twenty volumes and nearly four hundred poems during her lifetime. The present work, a posthumous anthology, includes her verse cycles Songs of the Cid and Records of Woman, as well as miscellaneous poems including ‘The Homes of England’, in which Hemans is thought to have coined the phrase ‘stately home’. Many literary peers paid tribute to Hemans following her death in 1835 of Scarlet Fever. In particular, Letitia Elizabeth Landon (see item 14) penned ‘Stanzas on the Death of Mrs Hemans’ (1835) and ‘Felicia Hemans’ (1838). This was answered by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who remained ambivalent about Hemans’ talent. In his ‘Extempore Effusion’ of 1835, Wordsworth portrayed Hemans as an ‘insubstantial spirit’. The anthology’s titular verse play, The Vespers of Palermo, was first published by John Murray in 1823. Based on a mixture of ancient and contemporary discourse, it applies Staël’s and Sismondi’s interpretations of Italian destiny to post-war developments, including the Mediterranean Revolts of 1820-21. Other sources include Byron, Coleridge, Gibbon, Petrarch, Plutarch and Schiller. Vespers’ production at Covent Garden in December 1823 failed, in part because an ingénue was miscast as its heroine. An Edinburgh performance on 5 April 1824, promoted by Joanna Baillie and Sir Walter Scott and starring Harriet Siddons, fared better. .see full details
A provincially-printed volume by botany teacher and Quaker Sarah Hoare. Hoare’s poem first appeared as an addendum to Priscilla Wakefield’s Introduction to Botany (1818), but is here accompanied by sundry other poems and an introduction. In this, which is addressed to her pupils, Hoare emphasises her indebtedness to Wakefield’s work—‘it was the first book of the kind I had read on the subject’—and explains that a change in her financial circumstances has necessitated her publication of the present work. Hoare taught the daughters of Quakers in Ireland for many years before returning to Bristol where she continued the work. For her, ‘botany was connected with the ideas of personal and social usefulness’ and the work takes on a maternal tone, with the medicinal properties of plants emphasised that they might be of use to those students of hers who have had children of their own. As Sam George has recognised, Hoare’s poem ‘posits a trustworthy science reliant on Quakerly practices of proof and honesty’. COPAC lists just four copies in the UK, at the British Library, Durham, Society of Friends and St. Andrews, to which WorldCat adds Haverford College, Miami, Stanford, UCLA, and Yale, in the US. .see full details
A diminutive volume of elegant verse by Liverpudlian poet and anti-slavery campaigner Jane Elizabeth Roscoe (1797-1853). Roscoe belonged to an active artistic and literary family. Her father William (1753-1831) was one of the founders of Liverpool’s first Society of Encouragement of the Arts, Painting and Design, which organized the first public exhibition of paintings held in any English town outside London. He was also an abolitionist, and later became one of nineteenth century’s foremost historians of Renaissance Italy. In keeping with her siblings, all of whom engaged in literary activities, Jane Elizabeth contributed to the two-volume Poems for Youth by a Family Circle (1820-1821) and was inspired by its modest success to print a small volume of her own verse, of which the present work is the second edition. As the contemporary annotations assert, Roscoe married Unitarian minister Francis Hornblower (1812-1853) in 1838, although the assertion here that she was 51 at the time of her marriage is incorrect. Roscoe remained actively involved with the anti-slavery movement, and would go on to contribute two sonnets to the Boston-based anti-slavery annual, The Liberty Bell. The present work is identical to first edition, but for the title-page. COPAC records just one copy of this edition, at the British Library. .see full details
First edition, rare, of this book of forty poems for children.more...
The poems herein Include ‘Hymn’ by Amelia Opie (1769-1853), ‘The Angels’ Call’ by Felicia Hemans, ‘The Irish Maiden’s Song’ by Bernard Barton (1784-1849), ‘To My infant Boy’ by the Scottish novelist Leitch Ritchie (1800-1865), and ‘Youth’ by William Howitt, amongst others, as well as works anonymous on devotional themes. In her Preface, Hall explains that she was driven to choose largely devotional material, which ‘is selected (by the kind permission of friends) from various sources, for which [she begs] ‘most respectfully to thank all, as well as for some new contributions’. The first of the charming illustrations is the frontispiece vignette representation of ‘The Orphan’s Prayer’, after a poem in the volume by the Rev. Henry Stebbing..see full details
First edition of the first published work by successful poet Caroline Norton (1808-1877).more...
Norton had a significant literary pedigree; her mother was the novelist Caroline Henrietta Callender (1779–1851), and her paternal grandparents were the dramatist Richard Brinsley Sheridan and his first wife, the celebrated singer Elizabeth Linley. In 1827 Norton made what would prove to be an unhappy marriage to George Norton M.P., and ‘disliking and disliked by his family, threw herself into literary society’ (ODNB). The Sorrows of Rosalie was Norton’s first published work. Even by the accepted standards of cautionary tales, the eponymous heroine suffers particular hardship. Rosalie is persuaded by her lover to abandon her aged father, but the lover – a villain – deserts her soon after. With illegitimate child in tow she seeks her betrayer in London, but is forced to abandon the search and returns to her father’s house, only to find him dead. Maddened by grief and the needs of her starving child, Rosalie is driven to theft, whereupon she is imprisoned and, although she is ultimately acquitted, her child dies in prison. After much despair, she finds refuge in a remote part of the country where she devotes the remainder of her life to quiet contemplation. The work was widely reviewed; the Literary Gazette wrote, ‘there is nothing very intricate in the story of the Sorrows of Rosalie’ yet ‘these slender materials have been worked into a tale of intense and Crabbe-like pathos’. The Morning Post asserted that ‘simple, unaffected, and beautiful effusion will be perused and re-perused with still encreasing [sic] pleasure’. The New Monthly Magazine addressed the author’s gender: ‘The present little work is attributed to the pen of a lady. Were it not for the fair, we should have but little new poetry now-a-days. Mrs. Hemans, Miss Landon, Mrs. Howitt, Miss Browne, and others of the beau sex, have all a woman’s constancy for the Muse, and do not desert the worship because it does not happen, just at present, to be the ton’. Identifying the edition of The Sorrows of Rosalie is complicated. The British Library has two editions; the present imprint and one in a different state with alternative pagination, as well as a ‘fourth edition’, which appeared in the same year as the first.. Jackson recognises that the presence of the fourth suggests the presence of second and third states, but these have not been identified. .see full details