The Priest dissected: a Poem, addressed to the Rev. Mr.…

~ The Priest dissected: a Poem, addressed to the Rev. Mr. ——, Author of Regulus, Toby, Cæsat, and other satirical Pieces in the public Papers... Bath: Printed by S. Hazard; and sold by Dodsley... and Wilkie... London; Fletcher and Hodson, at Cambridge; and by Frederick, Tennent, and Hazard, at Bath. 1774.

4to (262 × 205 mm) in half-sheets, pp. [iii]–vi, [7]–37, [3]; without the half-title, but complete with the satirical advertisements at the end; large engraved title vignette; upper corner of C1 torn away (no loss); disbound.

First edition, the issue with a short rule and the publication date at the foot of the title (rather than no date). Another virulent satire from Anstey, arising from another local dispute, this time with a local clergyman. ‘The following stanzas were written on the establishment of a poetical assembly in the neighbourhood of Bath [i.e. Sir John and Lady Miller’s literary salon at Batheaston]... [and] the author... should not have thought them worthy of being submitted in this manner to the perusal of the public, had they not given occasion to a very unjust and illiberal abuse of him in the Bath Journal, and St. James’s Chronicle, in certain pieces of prose and verse; copies of which, together with the character of the writer of them, will be introduced as subjects for anatomy in the course of the poem...’ (Advertisement).

The Monthly Review characterised the affair as ‘a most fierce, violent, and bloody battle between an enraged poet and a reverend haberdasher of small scandal’ in which Anstey, ‘armed the tomahawk and the scalping knife, denounces nothing less than death and dissection’. Jackson, p. 33.

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