The Poet. A Poem … The second Edition. by STOCKDALE,…

~ The Poet. A Poem … The second Edition. London: Printed for W. Flexney … 1773.

4to (261 × 205 mm) in half-sheets, pp. [4], 47, [1]; engraved title vignette by Taylor; complete with half-title; marginal browning to final two leaves, some spotting elsewhere, half-title and final page dust-soiled, final leaf chipped; disbound.

Second edition, published the same year as the first (and same pagination). This is the best-known poem by the curiously eccentric Stockdale (1736–1811), containing ‘good lines, and spirited passages … but its merit is greatly obscured by the malignant personal abuse with which it abounds’ (Monthly Review). There is also praise: for Shakespeare, Garrick, and ‘Johnson, tuneful, animated, strong, / Our living glory both in prose and song’ (p. 29). Such adulation was not to last. In 1779, Stockdale was passed over in favour of Johnson in the production of a new edition of the English poets, a grudge which he bore until his death. Jackson, p. 23; ESTC locates 8 copies (BL, CUL, Trinity College Cambridge, Columbia, Cornell, Michigan, Texas, Yale).

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