2 vols., 8vo., bound in one, pp. xvi, 416; and , 427, [1, blank], wanting the errata leaf at the end of volume II; contemporary dark red morocco, gilt fillets on covers, spine elaborately gilt (a little rubbed), morocco label, a ‘stilted’ binding (with the covers projecting beyond the edges of the leaves, to range on the shelf with taller neighbours).
US $1627 €1397
First edition. This lively miscellany, containing a large number of amusing short poems (but nothing for the libertine), was assembled by William Cowper’s uncle, the father of Theodora, later Lady Hesketh, with whom the poet fell in love. The dedication to the young Lady Caroline [Cowper] is subscribed ‘Timothy Scribble’: ‘Too true it is, that the present Age has been fruitful of Miscellanies; and I wish it was less true, that even the best Collections of them (tho’ handed to us by the brightest Wits of our Family [i.e. Scribblers and Scriblerians]) are not without some Impurities, which make them very unfit Companions for Youth ….’ ‘But to say a Word of the following Collection. It consists chiefly of Original Pieces – many of them (and those I fear the worst) are the Editor’s own – some never so much as handed about in Manuscript – few ever committed to the Press before ….’
The contents vary widely, from ‘On giving the Name of Georgia to a Part of Carolina’ and ‘A Prologue to the Opera of Rosamund, as it was perform’d in a Private Family in Bedfordshire’ to ‘A Poetical Dialogue between Windsor and Richmond’ after the death of Queen Caroline.
In this copy a contemporary annotator has identified all of the editor’s contributions and a few others. The errata leaf was probably omitted or removed because the errors have been corrected by the annotator, who has also filled in blank names.
Case 443 (1)(a) and (2)(a); Foxon, p. 149 (noting another annotated copy at the British Library).
You may also be interested in...
EXTRA ILLUSTRATED JOHNSON, Samuel.
The Lives of the most eminent English Poets; with critical Observations on their Works … in four Volumes …
First separate edition of the biographical and critical prefaces which Johnson had contributed to the 68 volumes of the Works of the English Poets in 1779 81, a project commissioned by the long list of booksellers who appear as partners in the imprint here.
Cyder. A Poem. In two Books …
First edition, first issue, on fine (but not large) paper. Though Williams suggests that ordinary paper copies belong to a first issue, and fine paper copies to a corrected second issue, both Hayward and Rothschild concur that both paper sizes exist in corrected and uncorrected states. The present copy has all the errors noted by Williams uncorrected as well the other features he associates with the first issue: the catchword ‘when’ on p. 68, p. 74 correctly numbered, and the asterisks at the foot of pp. 45 and 46.