BRYANT, John Frederick. ~ Verses by John Frederick Bryant, Late Tobacco-Pipe maker at Bristol. together with His Life, written by Himself. London: Printed for the author, and sold at his shop, No 35, Long-Acre. 1787.
8vo (195 × 120 mm), pp. , xxxiii, , 64p, with a subscribers’ list, etched frontispiece; title and frontispiece mounted at gutter; modern quarter calf, gilt.
First edition of a fine example of the vogue for artisan poetry. Bryant provides a substantial autobiography charting his humble origins in Bristol, his work as a bricklayer and his arrival in London. He includes several poems on labourers and bricklayers of his acquaintance together with: ‘On the Death of a Spaniel’, ‘A Song for the Bristol Sailing Society’, ‘On Mr. Cruger’s return from America’ and ‘On a Piece of Unwrought Pipe-Clay’ which is a classic curiosity of the sonnet revival. The list of subscribers or ‘Benefactors’ is impressive and significantly aristocratic. A second edition followed in the same year. Jackson, p. 136; not found in Sabin.