[ROBERTS, William Hayward]. ~ A Poetical Epistle, to Christopher Anstey, Esq; on the English Poets, chiefly those, who have written in Blank Verse. London: Printed for J. Wilkie,... T. Payne,... J. Woodyer, at Cambridge; W. Frederick, at Bath; and J. Pote, at Eton. 1773.
4to (265 × 200 mm), pp. 18, complete with half-title; some spotting to titles but still a good copy; modern grey boards.
First edition. Roberts and Anstey had become friends while students at King’s College, Cambridge in the 1750s. This ingenious verse epistle praises the masters of blank verse among English poets: William Thompson, William Somerville, Mark Akenside, William Mason, and, of course, Thomas Gray). Roberts was successively an Eton assistant, fellow and provost. Jackson, p. 23.