The Magdalens: an Elegy. By the Author of The Nunnery.…

~ The Magdalens: an Elegy. By the Author of The Nunnery. London: Printed for R. and J. Dodsley... 1763.

4to (230 × 185 mm), pp. 12; inscribed ‘The ingenious Author’s present to R. Marsham’ on the title; a few light marks; stab-sewn, disbound.

First edition of an early poem by Jerningham, containing ‘some pretty plaintive lines that seem to have been dictated by a tender and feeling heart, and to have flowed naturally from the subject’ (Critical Review). It is dedicated to Mary Lepell, Baroness Dowager Hervey of Ickworth.

This copy is inscribed to Robert Marsham, founder member of the Royal Society of Arts (as it became) and a great philanthropist: chairman of the Marine Society, vice-president of the Troop Society and, suitably for this poem, vice-president of the Magdalen Society, which sought to help repentant prostitutes. CBEL II, 662. Very scarce: ESTC locates 7 copies only (BL, Trinity College Cambridge, NLI, Cornell, Harvard, Rosenbach, Chicago).

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