Poems on Various Subjects, by Ann Yearsley, a Milkwoman of…

Poems on Various Subjects, by Ann Yearsley, a Milkwoman of Clifton, near Bristol; being her Second Work. [half-title: A Second Book of Poems on Various Subjects by YEARSLEY, Ann.

~ Poems on Various Subjects, by Ann Yearsley, a Milkwoman of Clifton, near Bristol; being her Second Work. [half-title: A Second Book of Poems on Various Subjects London: Printed for the Author, and sold by G.G.J. and J. Robinson... 1787.

4to (258 × 200 mm), pp. vl, 168; complete with the half-title; contemporary half calf, rebacked; sides rubbed and soiled; early armorial bookplate of Charles Smith; a very fresh copy.

First edition of the Bristol Milkwoman’s second collection. Yearsley (wittily dubbed ‘Lactilla’ by some) became a protegée of Hannah More after her family fell into destitution around 1784. More organised over 1000 subscribers for her first collection, Poems, on Several Occasions (1785), including Fanny Burney, Joshua Reynolds and Horace Walpole, but More and Yeasley later quarrelled about the profits and fell out.

‘With encouragement and some financial help from Frederick Augustus Hervey, fourth earl of Bristol, and others Yearsley published a second volume of poetry, Poems, on Various Subjects, in 1787, which adds the deed of trust [made with Hannah More] to the other prefaces; the subscription list to this work, though shorter, shows some continued support among prominent members of the establishment. Close associates of Hannah More dropped away, and were replaced by the earl of Bristol and members of the Irish peerage, especially the Perceval family. Lady Wallace appears again; a new literary subscriber is “Mrs. E. Knipe’ (Elizabeth).” (Oxford DNB). Jackson, p. 134; Jackson, Women, p. 384.

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