Epistles to the great, from Aristippus in Retirement. by [COOPER,…

~ Epistles to the great, from Aristippus in Retirement. London: Printed for R. and J. Dodsley. 1757.

pp. 48, with half-title, title with fine engraved vignette by Grignion after S. Wale; old manuscript note of attribution to half-title;

[bound with:] —— The call of Aristippus. Epistle IV. To Mark Akenside, M.D. By the author of the three former Epistles of Aristippus. London : Printed for R. and J. Dodsley, 1758, pp. 16, including engraved half-title.

2 works bound together, 4to (256 × 190 mm), old stamped pagination to upper forecorners (pp. 188-248); light browning throughout; preserved in later marbled boards.

First editions of two innovative works ‘in a French metre introduced into English by Gilbert Cooper, in which octosyllabic couplets are interspersed irregularly among octosyllabic lines rhyming on different patterns’ (Oxford DNB). Both works have attractive engraved vignettes: the first a charming allegory by Charles Grignion after a design by Samuel Wale (who also provided a vignette for Cooper’s 1755, Letters concerning Taste); the second a whimsical calligraphic half-title (unsigned).

Apart from several influential (and often controversial) independent poetical and critical works Cooper was a regular contributor to The Museum (1746–7), the periodical published by Robert Dodsley and edited by Akenside; his contributions usually signed Philaretes.

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