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  • The Day of Judgment: a poetical Essay. The fourth Edition. by GLYNN, Robert. GLYNN, Robert. ~ The Day of Judgment: a poetical Essay. The fourth Edition. Cambridge, printed by J. Bentham Printer to the University. Sold by W. Thurlbourn & J. Woodyer, and T. & J. Merrill in Cambridge; B. Dod, J. Whiston & B. White, R. & J. Dodsley, and T. Pote, in London; J. Pote at Eton; J. Fletcher, and D. Prince, in Oxford; and S. Stabler at York. 1760.
    Fourth edition of the Seatonian Prize poem for 1757, ‘perhaps the best that has ever yet appeared’ (The Critical Review). Glynn is said to have… (more)

    Fourth edition of the Seatonian Prize poem for 1757, ‘perhaps the best that has ever yet appeared’ (The Critical Review). Glynn is said to have submitted the poem out of his dislike for George Bally, who had won in 1754 and 1756 (and was to win again, in 1758). He became a noted physician-attending, for example, Thomas Gray in his final illness, showing ‘judgement and attention, but with characteristic eccentricity’ (Oxford DNB).

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  • The Barbers; or, the Road to Riches … by HUTTON, William. HUTTON, William. ~ The Barbers; or, the Road to Riches … London: Printed for J. Pridden … and sold by T. Pearson, Birmingham. 1793.
    Rare first edition of an earnest (if critically slated) poem presumably reflecting the author’s own rags-to-riches story. Hutton (1723–1815) is credited with opening the first… (more)

    Rare first edition of an earnest (if critically slated) poem presumably reflecting the author’s own rags-to-riches story. Hutton (1723–1815) is credited with opening the first circulating library in Birmingham (Oxford DNB), and was born into abject poverty:

    ‘This respectable veteran, who was literally the artificer of his own ample fortune … was sent, before he was five years old, to a poor day-school … and when he has attained his seventh year, was placed in the silk-mills, where he passed a miserable period of seven years. Having lost his mother, and been cruelly treated by his master, he formed the resolution of seeking his fortune … He had now acquired an inclination for reading; and, having met with three volumes of the Gentleman’s Magazine, contrived, in an awkward manner, to bind them himself – a profession to which he afterwards applied himself with some success. He opened a shop at Southwell, at the rent of 20s. a year, with about twenty-shillings-worth of books … He soon after purchased the refuse of a Dissenting minister’s library; and from that period his affairs began to wear a pleasant and promising aspect’ (The Gentleman’s Magazine, Oct. 1815).

    Hutton went on to run a successful paper warehouse in Birmingham, which sustained him for the rest of his life and allowed him to publish some of his own writing, including his well-regarded History of Birmingham (1782). Jackson, p. 189 (erroneously giving the dated as ‘1794’); Johnson 479 (a Birmingham edition dated ‘1793’, but ESTC shows that this is in fact a nineteenth-century reprint); not in Sabin, though there are a number of references to America (including ‘that Fabius, Washington’). ESTC locates 4 copies only (Birmingham Central Libraries, Birmingham University, British Library, Library of Congress).

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  • Shrove Tuesday, a satiric Rhapsody. First printed in MDCCXC … by [WILLIAMS, John]. [WILLIAMS, John]. ~ Shrove Tuesday, a satiric Rhapsody. First printed in MDCCXC … [Presumably London, the final page dated ‘Feb. 15th. 1794].
    Second edition of John Williams’s Shrove Tuesday (1791; 4 copies in ESTC), an anti-clerical and anti-aristocratic satirical poem emblematic of his controversial style (Oxford DNB).… (more)

    Second edition of John Williams’s Shrove Tuesday (1791; 4 copies in ESTC), an anti-clerical and anti-aristocratic satirical poem emblematic of his controversial style (Oxford DNB). It was also issued as part of his Cabinet of Miscellanies (1794?).
    The publisher has, perhaps wisely, removed Williams’ preface for the second edition, as it ruffled feathers among reviewers when it was first published: ‘…those authors who are resolved to acquire a fugitive fame independent of talents, send a copy of their works to the Editor of the Review with a guinea, and then they may either write the criticism themselves (which is done in nine instances out of ten) or received more praise from the honest editor for their doggerel nonsense, than Virgil would think even just if describing his incomparable Aeneid’ (p. iv, ‘Declaratory Dedication’ of the 1791 edition). The Critical Review, for its part, certainly took offense, referring to the poem as ‘incoherent rhapsody and incongruent metaphor’ (April 1792). Jackson, p. 194 (first edition).

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  • The Oeconomy of Love. A poetry Essay … A new Edition, revised and corrected by the Author. by [ARMSTRONG, John]. [ARMSTRONG, John]. ~ The Oeconomy of Love. A poetry Essay … A new Edition, revised and corrected by the Author. London, Printed for S. Bladon … 1768.
    FIRST PRINTING of the ‘revised and corrected’ edition of the physician and poet John Armstrong’s ‘glowingly explicit sex manual in blank verse’, here newly excised… (more)

    FIRST PRINTING of the ‘revised and corrected’ edition of the physician and poet John Armstrong’s ‘glowingly explicit sex manual in blank verse’, here newly excised of some of the racier passages, including an excerpt describing a wet dream (Oxford DNB).

    The Oeconomy of Love, first published in 1736, was Armstrong’s most frequently reprinted work in the eighteenth century, and was ‘chiefly intended as a Parody upon some of the didactic Poets; and, that it might be still the more ludicrous, the Author in some Places affected the stately Language of Milton’ (p. [5], author’s advertisement). Armstrong ‘had a reputation for drinking, swearing, and indolence; he was habitually querulous and sarcastic, but discerning friends, including Thomson, Smollett, and Hume, found his melancholy pleasing. In his last decade he mellowed: Fanny Burney, in 1772, thought him “very droll”, “an amazing old man”’ (ibid.). The Bowyer ledgers record that 750 copies were printed (Maslen & Lancaster 4699). ESTC lists 7 only (Cambridge, NLS, V&A in the UK).

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  • MARTIAL. A Specimen of the Translation of the Epigrams of M. Val. Martial: with the Original subjoined, and Notes at the End of the Volume. By James Elphinston … by ELPHINSTONE, James. MARTIAL ELPHINSTONE, James. MARTIAL ~ MARTIAL. A Specimen of the Translation of the Epigrams of M. Val. Martial: with the Original subjoined, and Notes at the End of the Volume. By James Elphinston … Subscriptions (that is, Names) are received not only by the Translator … but by B. White … E. and C. Dilly … J. Robson and Co. … J. Ridley … J. Walter … P. Elmsly … J. Bew … London. 1778.
    First edition, scarce. James Elphinston (1721–1809) was an educationist and advocate of spelling reform who published several works on the pedagogy of modern languages. The… (more)

    First edition, scarce. James Elphinston (1721–1809) was an educationist and advocate of spelling reform who published several works on the pedagogy of modern languages. The present publication, translating a small number of Martial’s epigrams, served as a specimen for subscribers, in the hopes that in time the subscription list would grow large enough to support a full translation: ‘The whole, thus prepared for the public, waits only the completion of that catalogue, which would already do honor to any literary enterprise, and to this announces immortality. The sooner therefore the remaining names, and the number each commands, are ascertained, the sooner will every wish be gratified; and justice of every kind be done to the Encouragers, as well as to the Undertaker: in whose hands may meantime be seen, the whole, or any part, of the Manuscript’ (Preface). The full work was finally published in 1782 but was poorly received by critics (Oxford DNB). His efforts to devise a completely reformed system of spelling in the 1780s would earn him recognition among twentieth-century philologists, but very few in his own day; Benjamin Franklin was, however, a notable exception. Not in Jackson. ESTC lists 8 copies (BL, Glasgow, NLS (2 copies), Bodleian, Cornell, Library Company of Philadelphia, Illinois).

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  • The Economy of monastic Life, (as it existed in England) a Poem, with philosophical, and archaeological Illustrations from Lyndwood, Dugdale, Selden, Wilkins, Willis, Spelman, Warton, &c. and copious Extracts from original Mss. by R. D. Fosbrooke [sic], M. A. Curate of Horsley, Glocestershire. by FOSBROOKE, Thomas Dudley. FOSBROOKE, Thomas Dudley. ~ The Economy of monastic Life, (as it existed in England) a Poem, with philosophical, and archaeological Illustrations from Lyndwood, Dugdale, Selden, Wilkins, Willis, Spelman, Warton, &c. and copious Extracts from original Mss. by R. D. Fosbrooke [sic], M. A. Curate of Horsley, Glocestershire. Glo[u]cester: Printed by R. Raikes. And sold by R. Faulder … Messrs. Fletcher and Hanwell, Oxford; Hough, Glocester; etc. 1796].
    First edition of Fosbroke’s poem, praised for being ‘the fruit of a great deal of curious research’ (Critical Review) into English monasticism. In his preface,… (more)

    First edition of Fosbroke’s poem, praised for being ‘the fruit of a great deal of curious research’ (Critical Review) into English monasticism. In his preface, Fosbrooke (he later changed it to ‘Fosbroke’) stresses that his aim is not ‘to reconcile all the different orders’, but rather to highlight ‘that there must be points in which they all agree … By describing these and adding such ceremonial particulars, as he could most conveniently procure, the Author hopes he has been able to convey a general idea of the nature of a Monastic Life’ (Preface).

    A nice piece of provincial typography, the work is dedicated to Edward Jenner (who subscribed for three copies); there are eight other Jenners in the subscribers’ list. Jackson, p. 207; Johnson 337.

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  • Poems on several Occasions. by WOTY, William. WOTY, William. ~ Poems on several Occasions. Derby: printed for the author, by J. Drewry, 1780.
    A Derby imprint, collecting some of the most popular poems and satires by Woty, versifier, solicitor’s clerk and Grub-street writer, including The Auctioneers; a Town… (more)

    A Derby imprint, collecting some of the most popular poems and satires by Woty, versifier, solicitor’s clerk and Grub-street writer, including The Auctioneers; a Town Eclogue and The Female Advocate. JohnsonNot in Jackson or Johnson.

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  • Europa rediviva. Second Edition. by [KNIGHT, Henry Gally]. [KNIGHT, Henry Gally]. ~ Europa rediviva. Second Edition. London: Printed for John Murray … 1814.
    Second edition; we have been unable to locate a copy of the first. Europa rediviva is a sweeping view of Europe as a triumphant ‘brotherhood… (more)

    Second edition; we have been unable to locate a copy of the first. Europa rediviva is a sweeping view of Europe as a triumphant ‘brotherhood in war–one family, in peace!’ (p. 19). Eton-educated Henry Gally Knight (1786–1846) published a number of poems in the 1810s to generally positive reviews, but did not garner acclaim in earnest until his Architectural Tour in Normandy (1836), which established his reputation as an well-regarded, if amateur, antiquarian (Oxford DNB). He proceeded to publish several architectural studies and served as an MP for a short period of time. Not in Jackson. COPAC lists 1 copy only (BL), to which WorldCat adds 2 (UCLA, Wake Forest).

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  • A Criticism in the Elegy written in a Country Church Yard. Being a Continuation of Dr. J—n’s Criticism on the Poems of Gray. by YOUNG, John. YOUNG, John. ~ A Criticism in the Elegy written in a Country Church Yard. Being a Continuation of Dr. J—n’s Criticism on the Poems of Gray. London: for G. Wilkie, 1783.
    First edition of this critical jeu d’esprit,First edition of this critical jeu d’esprit, a contribution to the debate over the Elegy inspired by Johnson’s assessment… (more)

    First edition of this critical jeu d’esprit,First edition of this critical jeu d’esprit, a contribution to the debate over the Elegy inspired by Johnson’s assessment in his Life of Gray (1777) and which was to continue well into the nineteenth century. It includes the complete text of the Elegy on pp. xii-xx. Young was professor of Greek at Glasgow University.

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

    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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  • The Blossoms of Helicon. by WOTY, William. WOTY, William. ~ The Blossoms of Helicon. London, Printed for the Author; and Sold by W. Flexney … 1763.
    First edition. William Woty (c.1732–1791) was a jobbing poet and literary editor with friends in high places: ‘Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Tobias Smollett, and David… (more)

    First edition. William Woty (c.1732–1791) was a jobbing poet and literary editor with friends in high places: ‘Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Tobias Smollett, and David Garrick are listed among the names of the many subscribers to [his] first collections, and Woty apparently had a strong interest in the London theatre … Later Woty published The Stage: a Poetical Epistle to a Friend (1780) and two short dramatic pieces: The Country Gentlemen, or, The Choice Spirits (1786) and The Ambitious Widow: a Comic Entertainment (1789)’ (Oxford DNB).

    The subscribers’ lists here includes C. Churchill (10 copies; presumably the poet Charles Churchill), William Dodd, ‘the Macaroni Parson’ for whom Johnson famously tried to win a reprieve, John Wilkes (10 copies), and David Garrick.

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  • The Justification. by [COMBE, William]. [COMBE, William]. ~ The Justification. Dublin, 1788.
    A miscellany containing 8 scarce Dublin-printed editions of popular British verse, most with the imprints of members of Dublin’s ‘Company of Booksellers’, the fraternity constituted… (more)

    A miscellany containing 8 scarce Dublin-printed editions of popular British verse, most with the imprints of members of Dublin’s ‘Company of Booksellers’, the fraternity constituted some time before 1774, probably in response to the ‘perpetual copyright’ controversy. I. Not in Jackson. II. Jackson p. 53. III. Jackson p. 49. IV. Jackson p. 53. V. Jackson p. 43. VI. Jackson p. 45. VII. Jackson p, 54. VIII. Jackson p. 46.

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  • The Poetic of Aristotle, translated from the Greek, with Notes … by PYE, Henry James. PYE, Henry James. ~ The Poetic of Aristotle, translated from the Greek, with Notes … London: for John Stockdale 1788.
    First edition: it was followed by a bulky Commentary on the same in 1792. Pye’s motivation for the present translation was to increase access to… (more)

    First edition: it was followed by a bulky Commentary on the same in 1792. Pye’s motivation for the present translation was to increase access to the work throughout the English-speaking world: ‘Though England has produced many valuable editions of Aristotle’s Poetic, and many ingenious commentators on that inestimable work, yet they have all been confined to the learned languages; and while our neighbours on the continent abound in translations, it is almost entirely shut up from the mere English reader’ (Preface).
    Pye (1745–1813) was a self-described ‘rhymer for life’ whose work on Aristotle was widely viewed as ‘original, shrewd, and learned’ (Oxford DNB). He was made poet laureate in 1790, though has unfortunately been the object of some derision from his peers; as his successor, Robert Southey, once famously quipped, ‘I have been rhyming as doggedly and dully as if my name had been Henry James Pye.’

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  • The Odes... by WILLIAMS, Sir Charles Hanbury. WILLIAMS, Sir Charles Hanbury. ~ The Odes... London: Printed for S. Vandenbergh, 1775.
    Second edition (first 1768) of the collected odes of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, positively skewered by the Monthly Review as ‘a very bad and incorrect… (more)

    Second edition (first 1768) of the collected odes of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, positively skewered by the Monthly Review as ‘a very bad and incorrect edition of the witty Knight’s lewd poems – The Publisher has, moreover, paid so little regard to decency in his selection, that he ought, by an order of the police, to be deprived of the use and comfort of breeches, during the remainder of his life.’ This kind of review, unfortunately, was not an anomaly for Williams: ‘Much of his poetry was judged obscene, even by his contemporaries, and his reputation has reflected that judgement … Influenced by Pope, whose early poetry especially he admired, Williams had neither the conciseness nor the subtlety of Pope’ (Oxford DNB).

    ‘Lovely Peggy’ serves as an excellent example of Williams’s extraordinary lack of poetic subtlety: ‘Were she array’d in rustic weed, / With her the bleating flocks I’d feed, / And pipe upon mine oaten reed, / To please my lovely Peggy’ (p. 118). Williams had a well-documented and particularly vicious case of syphilis, so it is probably safe to say that he did, indeed, enjoy piping on his oaten reed, though we will join reviewers in wishing he had kept his reed to himself. Jackson, p. 39.

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  • The Pleasures of Memory, with other Poems … A new and enlarged Edition. by ROGERS, Samuel. ROGERS, Samuel. ~ The Pleasures of Memory, with other Poems … A new and enlarged Edition. London: Printed for T. Cadell … 1799.
    A ‘new and enlarged’ edition of Samuel Rogers’s The Pleasures of Memory, the work for which he is (perhaps appropriately) best remembered for. Originally published… (more)

    A ‘new and enlarged’ edition of Samuel Rogers’s The Pleasures of Memory, the work for which he is (perhaps appropriately) best remembered for. Originally published anonymously in 1792, ‘the two-part poem, written in elegant but relaxed heroic couplets, begins with a nostalgic tour around the village of Rogers’s childhood, and moves through various scenes to explore and illustrate the “associating principle”, of the faculty of memory. It concludes with a poignant invocation to Rogers’s dead brother Thomas. The child of Mark Akenside’s The Pleasure of Imagination and the parent of Thomas Campbell’s The Pleasures of Hope, it entirely hit the taste of the day. The Monthly Review praised the poem’s “correctness of thought, delicacy of sentiment, variety of imagery, and harmony of versification” … and Byron (perhaps Rogers’s most notable admirer) commented in a letter to Thomas Moore of 5 September 1813: “His elegance is really wonderful—there is no such thing as a vulgar line in the book” … By 1806 it had gone through fifteen editions, two-thirds of them numbering from 1000 to 2000 copies each’ (Oxford DNB). Not in Jackson.

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  • Poems. by SOUTHEY, Robert. SOUTHEY, Robert. ~ Poems. Bristol: by Biggs and Cottle, for Messrs. Longman and Rees, London, 1799.
    The third edition of vol. 1 (which had first appeared at Bristol in 1797) and the first edition of vol. 2, of this important collection… (more)

    The third edition of vol. 1 (which had first appeared at Bristol in 1797) and the first edition of vol. 2, of this important collection gathering Southey’s early poetry, including ‘The Triumph of Woman’, ‘To Mary Wollstonecraft’, ‘Poems on the Slave Trade’, ‘The Genius of Africa’, ‘Botany Bay Eclogues’ and ‘A Ballad. Shewing how an old woman rode double, and who rode before her’, this latter based on a William of Malmesbury tale, and accompanied by a striking full-page woodcut (signed ‘M & W fecit’). Not in Jackson.

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  • Epistles in Verse, between Cynthio and Leonora, in three Cantos, descriptive of a Voyage to and from the East Indies; with several occasional Pieces. by MARSHALL, George. MARSHALL, George. ~ Epistles in Verse, between Cynthio and Leonora, in three Cantos, descriptive of a Voyage to and from the East Indies; with several occasional Pieces. Newcastle: for the author, by Preston & Heaton, 1812.
    First edition, by an officer of the East India Company, Newcastle printed, with a view of the Cape of Good Hope wood engraved by Thomas… (more)

    First edition, by an officer of the East India Company, Newcastle printed, with a view of the Cape of Good Hope wood engraved by Thomas Bewick. The subscribers are predominantly from the maritime towns of the North East. Tattersfield, Bewick, TB 2.154; not in Jackson.

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  • Iberia; with an Invocation to the Patriots of Spain, a Poem. To which is added War an Ode … by GLANVILLE, John. GLANVILLE, John. ~ Iberia; with an Invocation to the Patriots of Spain, a Poem. To which is added War an Ode … London: Sold by Messrs. Ebers … Mercer … Westley and Parrish … Richardson … White, Cochrane and Co. … Sherwood, Neely and Jones, 1812.
    First edition. Dedicated to the King, ‘Iberia’ and ‘War’ evoke sweeping images of patriotic victories on the battlefield, the banishment of tyrants, and, of course,… (more)

    First edition. Dedicated to the King, ‘Iberia’ and ‘War’ evoke sweeping images of patriotic victories on the battlefield, the banishment of tyrants, and, of course, effusive praise of Wellington: ‘Till Spain’s deliv’rer, glorious Wellington / Sun-like burst forth; arrayed in matchless light, / And Spain’s oppressors seek inglorious flight; / Napoleon’s cohorts flee the chief’s advance, / And seek a shelter back in shackled France … ‘ (p. 8). Jackson, p. 359. WorldCat lists 4 copies only (BL, Cambridge, McGill, Newcastle).

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  • A University Prize Poem, on His Majesty, King George III. Having completed the fifteenth Year of his Reign … by HALPIN, Nicholas John. HALPIN, Nicholas John. ~ A University Prize Poem, on His Majesty, King George III. Having completed the fifteenth Year of his Reign … Dublin: Printed by N. Kelly, for Gilbert and Hodges … 1811.
    Rare first and only edition of a prize poem by journalist and literary critic Nicholas John Halpin, written while a student at Trinity College Dublin.… (more)

    Rare first and only edition of a prize poem by journalist and literary critic Nicholas John Halpin, written while a student at Trinity College Dublin. Halpin (1790–1850) went on to publish several polemical pamphlets in support of the Church of Ireland in the 1820s, as well as several critical essays on Shakespeare and Spenser later in life (Oxford DNB). The present poem, dedicated to Charles Lennox, fourth Duke of Richmond and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, received universally excellent reviews, perhaps in part due to the subject matter. Jackson, p. 355. COPAC lists 2 copies only (BL, Cambridge), to which WorldCat adds 1 (Missouri).

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  • Bodiam Castle: A Poem in six Cantos. by BODIAM CASTLE. BODIAM CASTLE. ~ Bodiam Castle: A Poem in six Cantos. London: [C. Baldwin for] Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1818.
    First edition of this anonymous verse romance—a Scott-inspired medievalist episode set in the fourteenth-century moated castle in East Sussex. ‘An inoffensive grunter of the octo-syllabic… (more)

    First edition of this anonymous verse romance—a Scott-inspired medievalist episode set in the fourteenth-century moated castle in East Sussex. ‘An inoffensive grunter of the octo-syllabic sty’ (Monthly Review). Jackson, p. 430.

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