English Literature

Contact Donovan Rees or Ted Hofmann

British literature and history from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, with an emphasis on poetry, fiction, and drama, is a major speciality.

We usually have a selection of literary works from the STC and Wing period (i.e. before 1701), and a broad range of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fiction and poetry, particularly the Romantics. We also have a selection of historical manuscripts, prints and broadsides, and works in translation. Among important works which have passed through our hands are the editor's presentation copy of Milton's Lycidas, Swift's Modest Proposal, the autograph draft of Byron's She walks in beauty, the autograph manuscript of Jane Austen's only play Sir Charles Grandison, Dickens’s copy of Vanity Fair, Trollope's classical library, and, over the years, some fifty Shakespeare First Folios.
  1. ACCOUNT OF THE MOST REMARKABLE VOYAGES (An)

    from the Discovery of America by Columbus to the present Time.

    London: William Darton and Son … 1831.

    First and only edition of a compendium of exploration and discovery for children, taking in Columbus, Drake, Parry, Look, Franklin etc. True to its promise to record adventures up ‘to the present time’, the most recent voyage recorded here is Captain Ross’s attempt to discover the North-West passage....

    £250

  2. AEMYLIUS, Paulus (Paolo EMILIO).

    Historici clarissimi de rebus gestis Francorum…

    Paris, Michel Vascosan, 1550.

    Early editions of the three classical complementary chronicles of France from the fifth to the mid-sixteenth century, often issued and bound together.

    £750

  3. (a). GOULET, Robert.

    Compendium recenter editum de multiplici Parisiensis Universitatis magnificentia, dignitate, et excellentia,...

    Paris, Toussaint Denis, 1517.

    First edition of the first account of the University of Paris, ‘probably the earliest monograph on any university’ – E. P. Goldschmidt.

    £12500

  4. AINSWORTH, William Harrison.

    The Lord Mayor of London: or, City Life in the Last Century ... in three Volumes ...

    London: Chapman and Hall ... 1862.

    First edition. The Lord Mayor of London is set in the reign of George III, but Ainsworth’s worthy Sir Gresham Lorimer embodies all the Victorian qualities of the industrious, honest citizen, risen from humble origins to the highest civic position. His wife adopts the exaggerated dress of the...

    £750

  5. AINSWORTH, William Harrison.

    Preston Fight; or, the Insurrection of 1715. A Tale …

    London: Tinsley Brothers … 1875.

    Ainsworth’s decline in popularity in his later years has rendered his later novels, published by Tinsley in smaller editions than his early work, increasingly scarce.

    £950

  6. ALBERTI, Leon Battista.

    Momus [or De principe].

    Rome, Jacopo Mazochi, 1520.

    First edition of this political and social satire by the great Renaissance architect, theorist, scholar and man of letters, Leon Battista Alberti. There were two editions published in Rome in 1520, one (the present) by Jacopo Mazochi, the other by Étienne Guillery. Both carry papal privileges,...

    £4600

  7. ALBERTI, Leon Battista.

    El Momo. La moral e muy graciosa historia del Momo; compuesta en Latin por el docto varon Leon Bapista...

    Alcalá de Henares, Joan Mey Flandro, 1553.

    First edition in Spanish of Alberti’s Momus [or De principe], translated by Augustín de Almaçan and with an introductory 8 pp. Exposición by the Toledo ascetic writer and scholar Alejo Venegas (1495?–1554?).

    £3800

  8. ALEKSANDROVA, Zinaida and Dmitry GORLOV.

    Мишкины соседи [Little Bear’s neighbours].

    Moscow, VLKSM Izdatelstvo Detskoi Literaturi, 1936.

    First edition. A very nice copy of this collection of verses for young children, composed by one of the most prolific Soviet children’s poets, and illustrated by one of the most prolific of Soviet children’s artists. The tales tell of the lives of a selection of farm and wild animals, including a...

    £350

  9. ALEXANDER, A.

    M., Caleb. The Young ladies and gentlemen’s spelling book: containing a criterion of rightly spelling and pronouncing...

    Providence [Rhode Island], Carter and Wilkinson; sold also by the author at Menden (Massachusetts), 1797.

    First and only edition of an extremely rare early Americanum, a schoolbook which has been described as one of the ‘outstanding’ spelling books of its age (Charles Carpenter, History of American schoolbooks, 1963, p. 154).

    £3000

  10. ALEXANDER, James Edward, translator, and Mirza Itesa MODEEN (Itisam al-Din).

    Shigurf namah i velaët, or excellent intelligence...

    London, Parbury, Allen & Co., 1827.

    First edition. A first-hand account of eighteenth-century intrigue and court politics, involving George III, the Mughal emperor, Shah Alam II, and a motley cast of supporting characters. Al-Din, initially an employee of various Britons, undertook a mission to Britain between 1766 and 1768. The...

    £350

  11. ALFIERI, Vittorio. LLOYD, Charles, translator.

    The Tragedies of Vittorio Alfieri; translated from the Italian … In three Volumes …

    London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown … 1815.

    First edition of this translation, which Lloyd undertook ‘on the suggestion of a friend whose judgement I highly respect’. This friend was likely Southey, who he addresses as his ‘sponsor’ in the ‘Dedicatory Sonnet’. He held Southey in high esteem, and benefited from his friendship through...

    £450

  12. [ALLESTREE, Richard].

    The Lively Oracles given to us. Or the Christians Birth-Right and Duty, in the Custody and Use of the Holy...

    At the Theatre in Oxford, 1678 [paste-on slip: And are to be sold by Thomas Guy at the Corner of Lumbardstreet and Cornhill, London.]

    First edition (see below). ‘The book was published between June 10, the date of the imprimatur … and July 24 … but it is not in the Term Catalogues till Dec. 6 … and then as “Printed at the Theatre. Sold by Mr. Pitt, P. Parker, W. Leake and T. Guy, Booksellers in London”, thus exhibiting...

    £1250

  13. AMOS, William.

    Minutes in Agriculture and Planting … Illustrated with Specimens of eight Sorts of the best, and two Sorts of...

    Boston [Lincolnshire], Printed by J. Hellaby, 1804.

    First edition, rare. William Amos was the steward of the Brothertoft estate of the ‘father of reform’ John Cartwright, and author of an earlier work on The Theory and Practice of Drill Husbandry (1794). Here he provides descriptions, and samples, of both ‘artificial’ and ‘natural’...

    £2250

  14. [ANON]

    The adventures of John Manks and his pock-marked cat.

    Dublin, P Bereton 1 Lr Exchange Street, [c. 1865?].

    This short nonsense-writing prose anecdote is set in Ireland and recounts the unnamed protagonist’s encounters with a coach man driving ’78 old dead jack asses, under an empty steam coach’, a ‘poor old man’ with a ‘great big stack of chimney on his back’ and ‘John Manks’, listed in...

    £125

  15. [ANON].

    Le mie vedute su la sanità e la longevità.

    Naples, Vincenzo Orsino, 1804.

    Rare first edition, purportedly a reply to Sir John Sinclair’s 1802 pamphlet An essay on longevity.

    £950

  16. ANTHONY, Gordon.

    Ballet. Camera Studies by Gordon Anthony. With an introduction and notes by Arnold Haskell.

    London, Geoffrey Bles, 1937.

    The deluxe edition, no. 77 of 100 copies, signed by Anthony on the half-title verso. There was also a trade edition.

    £350

  17. ARISTOPHANES.

    The Birds … Translated by the Rev. Henry Francis Cary … With Notes.

    London: Printed for Taylor and Hessey … 1824.

    First edition. ‘Given how much there is in Aristophanes to outrage and violate nineteenth-century manners and sensibilities, it may seem surprising how popular he was. The popularity came at the price of bowdlerizing much of the “grossness”, but there was admiration and even a certain yearning...

    £350

  18. ARISTOTLE.

    Τεχνης Ρητορικης Βιβλία τεία … de Rhetorica seu Arte Dicendi Libri tres, Græcolat …

    Londini, Typis Eduardi Griffini, 1619.

    The first edition of Aristotle’s Rhetoric to be printed in England, with a parallel-text Latin translation and scholarly commentary by Theodore Goulston.

    £650

  19. [ARIZZI, Francesco.]

    Il buffone di nuova invenzione in Italia. O sia i viaggi del vagabondo Salsiccia Salisburgese […] con un...

    Venice, Antonio Bortoli, 1740.

    First and only edition of Arizzi’s adaptation of Gottfried Prehauser’s Wienerische Hannswurst nebst lustige Reyss-Beschreibung aus Salzburg in verschiedene Länder, published anonymously and for a long time wrongly attributed to Benedetto Marcello.

    £600