12mo., pp. , iii, , 12 [subscribers’ lists], 88, with a half title, an engraved frontispiece and a plate (views of Brighton and the Signal House); a very good copy, uncut, in the original boards, rebacked, soiled; printed paper label, ‘Brighton’, to front board; ownership inscription dated 1835.
US $0 €0
First and only edition of Mary Lloyd’s paean to the attractions of ‘Beauty, and fashion’s ever favourite seat’. The poem vividly portrays Brighton’s dazzling social round: the races, dances at the Assembly Rooms, plays at the theatre, and acrobatic shows at the circus. Particular attention is paid to the health-giving pursuit of bathing and Martha Gun, the famous ‘dipper’, is eulogised as the ‘sage priestess’ of its ‘divine’ rites. Published the year after the completion of the Prince Regent’s magnificent stables, known as the Brighton dome, Lloyd’s poem also records the early developments of the Royal Pavilion, before John Nash embarked on the construction of the elaborate palace familiar today. She praises ‘the lovely edifice’ which is ‘grac’d / With every beauty of inventive taste’, and admires (perhaps rather disingenuously) the ‘modest dome’ of the stables. Throughout the poem footnotes alert the reader to its close adherence to fact, pointing out significant etymologies, important dates, and local curiosities. The ‘Miscellaneous Poems’ at the end of the volume include three pieces written in a rather loose interpretation of Scottish dialect speech.
The list of subscribers includes the Duke of Clarence (the future William IV), and a Mrs Fitzherbert (probably the companion of the Prince Regent, who lived for a while in a rented villa near the Marine Pavilion).
Brighton appears to be Mary Lloyd’s first and only poetic foray, despite an encouraging reception from the Monthly Review which reckoned that she managed ‘to weave into her poem the characteristic features of the place’.
Jackson, Romantic Poetry by Women, p. 204.
You may also be interested in...
WITH CHARACTERS BY WEBSTER, DEKKER, AND DONNE OVERBURY, Sir Thomas.
Sir Thomas Overbury His Wife. With Additions of new Characters, and many other Witty Conceits never before printed. The sixteenth Impression.
Sixteenth edition of the most popular character book of the early seventeenth century.
JOURNEY TO EMMAUS (A).
A sacred Dialogue ...
First edition, dedicated to Frederick, Prince of Wales, as Chancellor of Trinity College. This is the story from the Gospel of Luke that tells how, after the Resurrection, Jesus appeared two of his followers who were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus. It takes the form of a dialogue between Cleopas and Matthias, lamenting (‘Like Sheep when scatter’d o’er some dreary plain, / Their folds laid desolate, their Shepherd slain, / To the wide World poor helpless We are left, / Of Friends, of all that’s dear bereft ...’). They encounter Emanuel, who asks ‘Why walk ye thus disconsolate’, but they do not recognise Him. (‘O fools, O Slow of heart to understand’). Nonetheless they beg him to eat with them: ‘Emanuel thus by kind Entreaties prest / The cottage enters: When their mighty Guest, / Yet unreveal’d, they at their humble Board / Had plac’d, in breaking Bread they knew their Lord; / And as they kneel’d, all trembling with Delight, / Worship to pay, He vanish’d from their Sight’.