The Rape of Pomona. An elegiac Epistle, from the Waiter…

FRUITY

~ The Rape of Pomona. An elegiac Epistle, from the Waiter at Hockrel, to the Honourable Mr. L—tt—n... The third Edition. London: Printed for S. Bladon... 1773.

4to (251 × 200), pp. 18, plus final blank; complete with half-title; some foxing and dust-soiling to the half-title; disbound.

Third edition, first published the same year (same pagination). ESTC locates only 4 copies of this edition (BL, Bodley, NLS, North Carolina).

This targets a recent affair between the libertine Thomas Lyttelton and a Hertfordshire barmaid. ‘Sally Harris (the poetical Pomona) attended Mr. Bolton’s Inn at Hockrel, and served the Guests with Fruit: Her Beauty, Wit and Coquetry, gained her many Admirers. To the Surprize of every Body she lately eloped with Mr. Ly—tt—n. It seems he had betted One Hundred Guineas with Mr. B—ke that Sally would refuse him the last Favour. As Mr. B. was determined to win his Bet, by every honourable Means, he offered Sally the whole Sum for her Compliance, which the generous Girl nobly refused. Mr. L. was charmed by her Behaviour, and she conceived a reciprocal Affection for him, as he had ventured a Hundred Guineas on her Virtue’ (Advertisement). The Monthly Review commented: ‘this piece is by no means wanting in poetical merit; but, in a moral view, we have nothing to say; and shall only add, that Pomona’s fruit is too luscious for the simple taste of a sober and grave Reviewer.’

Courtenay (1738–1816) was an Irish politician who ‘frequented London literary society, attaching himself to James Boswell as a fellow admirer of Samuel Johnson, on whose character he later published A Poetical Review (1786)’ (Oxford DNB). Jackson, p. 23; O’Donoghue, p. 82.

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