The Fate of Lewellyn; or, the Druid’s Sacrifice. A legendary…

The Fate of Lewellyn; or, the Druid’s Sacrifice. A legendary Tale. To which is added, The Genius of Carnbre’, a Poem. By a young Gentleman of Truro School. by [POLWHELE, Richard].

~ The Fate of Lewellyn; or, the Druid’s Sacrifice. A legendary Tale. To which is added, The Genius of Carnbre’, a Poem. By a young Gentleman of Truro School. Bath: Printed by R. Cruttwell, for the Author; and sold by E. and C. Dilly... London. 1777.

4to (260 × 203 mm), pp. [6], 5–55, [1]; lower margin of F1 cut away, old stamp (‘Merton House’) to final leaf; complete with the half-title (errata on verso), bound here after the author’s ‘Advertisement’; recent wrappers.

Very rare first edition of Polwhele’s first separate publication. He was seventeen when he wrote this celtic-gothic piece, and the Monthly Review, playing off the ‘Truro School’ concealment of Polwhele’s authorship, commented that the schoolmaster should have kept it in manuscript; the school replied that it had no knowledge of the poem. According to Oxford DNB, ‘this premature appearance in print impaired Polwhele’s reputation.’ Certainly the poem is rare enough that one could imagine an attempt made to suppress it, and a copy at Cardiff, noted in COPAC, is heavily marked up with manuscript deletions and amendments. Jackson, p. 53. ESTC locate 4 copies only (BL, Bodley, 2 copies, Somerset Archaeological Society); WorldCat adds one at Brown. In some copies, the imprint is without a date.

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