The Harp. A legendary Tale. In two Parts... by [MACNEILL,…

~ The Harp. A legendary Tale. In two Parts... Edinburgh: at the Apollo Press by Martin and McDowall. Printed for P. Hill... Edinburgh; and J. Johnston... London. Anno 1789.

4to (242 × 196 mm), pp. 8, 16; light water-stain to the outer fore-margin; disbound.

First edition: MacNeill’s ‘first characteristic poem’ (DNB) and his first published in 4to, inscribed ‘From the Author’ on the verso of the half-title. The recipient was Alexander Fraser-Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee.

Macneill (1746–1818) went to Jamaica as a trader in 1786. He had begun writing this, a Hebridean ballad, before he went, and completed work on it during the return journey two years later. It is dedicated to the Gaelic Society of London.

‘The poem has afforded us much pleasure in the perusal... We do not hesitate to style it a charming piece of sentimental poetry’ (Monthly Review). Jackson, p. 148. ESTC locates 10 copies only (Aberdeen, BL (2 copies), Cambridge UL (2 copies), NLS, Harvard, Princeton, Rice, Cincinnati).

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