CUNNINGHAM, John. ~ Poems, chiefly pastoral. London: Printed for the author; and sold by J. Dodsley... J. Almon... W. Richardson and L. Urquhart... G. Robinson and J. Roberts... W. Nicoll... and T. Slack, in Newcastle. 1766.
8vo (212 × 120 mm), pp. xvi, 240, plus engraved frontispiece by Isaac Taylor, subscribers’ list; contemporary sprinkled calf, gilt panelled spine with floral tools and red morocco label, blue edges; lightly rubbed, both joints cracked but still tight; early engraved armorial bookplate of William Brodie of Brodie, later bookplate of H. Bradley Martin.
The Bradley Martin copy of the first edition, second issue (a reissue of the Newcastle edition of the same year, with a new titlepage). Dublin-born Cunningham intended to pursue a career as an actor in England, but turned to poetry in the 1760s and began gathering his works for a collective publication, encouraged by David Garrick.
‘His best efforts were in the poetry of landscape, and here he was influenced by current interests in the Gothic and the picturesque. In these respects Cunningham owes something to both the landscape poets and the graveyard school. His handling of rhyme and rhythm demonstrates his good ear, and in general his poetry, in reflecting popular taste, is clear and accessible’ (Oxford DNB). Hayward 186; Roscoe, J139.