TOWNSEND, George. ~ Armageddon. A Poem; in twelve books... The first eight books [all published]. London 1815.
4to (245 × 200 mm), pp. [iii-xxix], , 314, plus one leaf (p. 160* and blank verso inserted after p. 160), bound without half-title. Contemporary diced panelled calf, gilt, with label of R. Jennings, Poultry. Rubbed, joints cracked, some insect damage to joints and sides. Author’s autograph letter loosely inserted, bookplate and inscription of John Scott, first earl of Eldon.
First edition. An ambitious Miltonesque account of the last battle and the end of the world with an imperial twist, describing Christian Britannia’s rule over the infidel kingdoms among the preconditions for the attainment of the millennium. Written while Townsend was still at Trinity College, Cambridge, p. 60* bears an additional dedication to the reverend G.F. Tavel, late fellow and tutor of the college. This copy, in its elaborate binding (now in indifferent condition) is a presentation copy, with an autograph letter from Townsend to Lord Eldon seeking patronage: ‘I submit it as proof of industry, and as the first effort of a young clergyman, who, with a rising family, has only his exertion to rely on, for support, and advancement in his profession’. Jackson, p. 390.