Small folio, pp. , 399, , wanting the preliminary blank, small hole to M4 affecting three letters, a few marginal repairs without loss; a very good copy in full red morocco, gilt, by Zaehnsdorf, joints slightly rubbed.
US $1720 €1406
First edition. Beaumont was one of the royalist fellows ejected from Cambridge in 1644, and he devoted his enforced retirement to the composition of this poem, a ‘religious epic’ representing ‘a Soule led by divine Grace, and her Guardian Angel ... through the difficult Temptations and Assaults of Lust, of Pride, of Heresie, of Persecution, and of Spiritual Dereliction ... to heavenly Felicitie.’ The result, some 30,000 lines in six-line stanzas, is by far the longest work of the ‘English Spenserians’ of the seventeenth century (Drayton, Wither, Henry More, Giles and Phineas Fletcher), although Beaumont’s stylistic affinities lie more with Donne and with his fellow student at Peterhouse, Richard Crashaw.
When a second edition was published in 1702 ‘much enlarged in every canto by the late Reverend Author’, the first edition was described as ‘very scarce and very dear’, which is difficult to believe.
Wing B 1625; Hayward 96.
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CONTEMPORARY MOROCCO [BASKERVILLE PRESS.]
The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, according to the Use of the Church of England: together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, pointed as they are to be sung or said in Churches. Cambridge, Printed by John Baskerville … by whom they are sold, and by B. Dod, Bookseller … London. 1762.
Third and final edition of Baskerville’s octavo prayer book. The prayers for the Royal Family on cancels B8, C6, and D3 include the name of Queen Charlotte, whom George III married in 1761. This copy also includes the ‘occasional prayers’ which were only printed for part of the edition and are therefore not always present.
The rural Muse. Poems …
First edition of Clare’s last collection of poetry, published as he was descending into penury and madness. His previous collection, The Shepherd’s Calendar (1827), had sold badly and Clare found himself with an inclination to drink, but without money. He was committed to Allen’s asylum at High Beach in Epping Forest in 1837, two years after the publication of this book.