Miscellanies in Prose and Verse... by WILLIAMS, Anna.

Miscellanies in Prose and Verse... by WILLIAMS, Anna.

~ Miscellanies in Prose and Verse... London: Printed for T. Davis... 1766.

4to (256 × 192 mm), pp. [4], 184; title with woodcut fleuron; old waterstain to lower forecorners of a few leaves at front and rear; contemporary smooth, sprinkled calf, spine with 5 raised bands, red morocco label lettered in gilt; slightly rubbed, minor restoration to headcap and foot of spine; two old inscriptions (John Bunting, Lidgate and J. Brill, Northwold, both Suffolk) to front free endpaper; a very good copy.

First edition. Anna Williams, blind poet and companion of Samuel Johnson, had a ground-floor apartment in his house, from which she supervised the household management and expenses. ‘In 1766 her Miscellanies in Prose and Verse was published as a handsome quarto by Thomas Davies. Johnson contributed a preface and several prose and verse pieces. The work had been first advertised in 1750, and there were waspish claims from Anna’s friends that Johnson had not exerted himself in its production, but the publication was moderately successful, and earned the author about £100’ (Oxford DNB).

Very uncommon, as one might expect from Mrs. Thrale’s statement: ‘I never saw it on any Table but my own.’ Fleeman, pp. 1139-42, Courteney & Nicholl Smith, p. 111.

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