THE NEWARK PIRATE’S SURREPTITIOUS REPRINT

Poems original and translated … Second Edition.

Newark: Printed and sold by S. and J. Ridge; sold also by B. Crosby and Co … Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme … F. & C. Rivington … and J. Mawman … London. 1808 [in fact after 1811].

8vo., pp. [5], ‘vii’-‘viii’, [1], 174, with a frontispiece (slightly offset to title); wanting the final blank; a very good copy in nineteenth-century red morocco, gilt, all edges gilt, spine lettered direct.

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Unacknowledged reprint of the ‘second’ [i.e. first] edition of Poems original and translated, printed by Ridge without Byron’s permission. As the first printing ran out Ridge told Byron that he had reprinted some sheets to make up a few more copies; in fact he was to continue to reprint the whole volume surreptitiously on paper watermarked 1811. John Murray later noticed either this imposture or the spurious ‘large paper’ copies of Hours of Idleness, and informed Byron who replied, ‘I have no means of ascertaining whether the Newark Pirate has been doing what you say – if so – he is a rascal & a shabby rascal too – and if his offence is punishable by law or pugilism he shall be fined or buffeted’ (5 February 1814).

This was the fourth of Byron’s Newark-printed volumes of juvenilia, each based on the one before but adding and omitting poems. The first two were printed privately (Fugitive Pieces, 1806, Poems on various Occasions, 1807); the third was Hours of Idleness, 1807. This final collection, Poems original and translated, is described on the title-page as ‘second Edition’ because of the poems that it shares with Hours of Idleness, but there are new pieces which Byron supplied in manuscript and corrected in proof.

The present copy is printed on paper in part watermarked ‘H Salmon 1811’. The title-page is that of Randolph’s third issue, without the top serif of E in POEMS and a broken rule above the Greek quotation; p. 29 stanza 6 is misnumbered ‘4’, and the footnote on p. 115 has the reading ‘said’.

Wise I, 8-14; Randolph, p. 11-13 (not wholly accurate); McGann I, 361-3.

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