Makarony Fables; Fables for grown Gentlemen; lyrick Epistles; and several…

Makarony Fables; Fables for grown Gentlemen; lyrick Epistles; and several other Poems; by the Author of Crazy Tales. by HALL-STEVENSON, John.

~ Makarony Fables; Fables for grown Gentlemen; lyrick Epistles; and several other Poems; by the Author of Crazy Tales. Dublin: Thomas Ewing, 1772.

8vo (182 × 105 mm), pp. [4], 274, [2] (blank). Contemporary sprinkled calf. Spine with 5 raised bands, black morocco label, gilt (slightly chipped with loss of 2 letters). Contemporary engraved armorial bookplate of A. Jephson, Hertford College, Oxford, plus his stamps and signature to title. A very good copy.

First Dublin edition (the first London edition appeared in 1768). These poems marked a return to print for Hall-Stevenson after a few years’ absence, and draw on Aesop and La Fontaine for the purposes of political satire. Bute is a particular target. ‘The most ambitious and successful piece in the volume is a Mandevillian imitation, “A New Fable of the Bees,” continuing the attack on Bute, this time as the favorite of the Queen Bee, the Dowager Princess of Wales’ (Hartley). Also of particular interest is ‘The Black Bird’ (pp. 16–18), which is about Sterne. The title refers to the ‘Franciscan Makaronies of Medmenham’, i.e. Sir Francis Dashwood’s Hellfire Club. Jackson, p. 14; Hartley, ‘The works of John Hall-Stevenson: a check list’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 64 (1970).

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