Country Book-Club. A Poem … by [SHILLITO, Charles].

Country Book-Club. A Poem … by [SHILLITO, Charles].

~ Country Book-Club. A Poem … London: Printed for the Author; and sold by W. Lowndes … R. Baldwin … and W. Keymer, Colchester. 1788.

4to (268 × 213 mm) in half-sheets, pp. [9], 12–39, [1]; title vignette by Rowlandson after Dinthorne; light waterstain to upper edge and down into the gutter, the odd other mark; disbound.

First edition, with four pages of subscribers, many of them from the Colchester area (where a couple of other books by Shillito were published). A satire on the rural reading group and its rustic members, including ‘The rural bookseller of aspect pale, / And bent with age, comes tott’ring down the vale … / Who but has heard his tale, so often told, / Of famous men, whose names he once enroll’d. / How those illustrious members spoke and thought, / What ale they tippled, and what books they bought. Books, that were worthy of superior praise, / Unlike the flimsey works of modern days …’ (p. 21).

‘It evidently appears that the author of this work had Goldsmith in his eye when he wrote: his characters are well delineated; his verse is generally harmonious, and we have no doubt that this poem will be read with pleasure’ (Literary Magazine and British Review). Jackson, p. 138.

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