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.

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. SWIFT, Jonathan, attributed author.

    The Life and genuine Character of Doctor Swift. Written by Himself.

    London: Printed for J. Roberts … and sold at the Pamphlet Shops … 1733.

    First edition. Authorship of this fine poem has long been debated. It was explicitly repudiated by Swift himself, though it has much in common with Verses on the Death of Doctor Swift and Faulkner printed it as genuine in 1746.

    £1000

  2. SWINBURNE, Algernon Charles.

    Ode on the Proclamation of the French Republic, September 4th, 1870 ...

    London: F. S. Ellis ... 1870.

    First edition. On 4 Septemeber 1879, two days after the final capitulation of the French army at Sedan and the surrender of Napoleon III to the King of Prussia, the republican deputies at Paris proclaimed the end of the imperial dynasty and the foundation of the provisional government that was to become...

    £100

  3. [TALFOURD, Thomas Noon].

    Ion; a Tragedy, in five Acts. To which are added a few Sonnets. Second Edition.

    London: Printed by A. J. Valpy ... for private Circulation. Not published. [1835]

    Second private edition of Talfourd’s blank verse tragedy, adding a small group of eight sonnets not in the first edition (also privately printed, 1835), and with a new preface: ‘Having exhausted the small impression which was originally printed of Ion, and finding that there are yet friends in whose...

    £250

  4. TANNER, Anodyne, M.D., pseud.

    The Life of the late celebrated Mrs. Elizabeth Wisebourn, vulgarly call’d Mother Wybourn; containing...

    London: Printed for A. Moore … [1721?]

    First edition of a scurrilous account of Elizabeth Wisebourn[e], a famous bawd, and the goings-on in the gilded apartments of her elegant London brothel in Drury-Lane. Born in 1653 and educated in Rome under the tuition of a Lady Abbess to whom ‘she ow’d all that she knew of her Business’, Elizabeth...

    £1850

  5. TEMPLE, Sir William.

    An Introduction to the History of England …

    London, Printed for Richard Simpson … and Ralph Simpson … 1695

    First edition. Newly arrived in England from Trinity College, Dublin, Swift in 1689 entered upon a ten-year period as secretary to Sir William Temple at Moor Park near Farnham in Surrey. ‘Partly thanks to Swift’s support several of Temple’s important works were published in the 1690s, notably the...

    £450

  6. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    Maud, and other Poems …

    London: Edward Moxon … 1855.

    First edition, containing the first appearance in book form of ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. The poem was originally printed in The Examiner in December 1854.

    £150

  7. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    Maud, and other Poems …

    London: Edward Moxon … 1855.

    First edition, containing the first appearance in book form of ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. The poem was originally printed in The Examiner in December 1854.

    £150

  8. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    Ballads and other Poems.

    London: C. Kegan Paul & Co. … 1880.

    First edition. Wise, Tennyson 138; Tinker 2093.

    £75

  9. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    The Cup and the Falcon.

    London: Macmillan and Co. 1884.

    First published edition, preceded by a ‘trial’ edition of 1882 recorded by Wise as surviving in one known copy – in his own collection. The Cup was first performed in 1881 with Sir Henry Irving and Ellen Terry. Wise, Tennyson 146; Tinker 2096.

    £75

  10. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    Locksley Hall Sixty Years after etc.

    London: Macmillan and Co. … 1886.

    First edition. Wise, Tennyson 156; Tinker 2098.

    £60

  11. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    The Death of Œnone, Akbar’s Dream, and other Poems.

    London: Macmillan and Co. … 1892.

    First edition, the issue on ordinary paper. Wise, Tennyson 165; Tinker 2102.

    £50

  12. TENNYSON, Alfred Lord.

    The Princess: a Medley … Fourth edition.

    London: Edward Moxon … 1851.

    Fourth edition, with ‘changes of very considerable importance’ (Wise), written when Tennyson was honeymooning with the Marshalls in 1850. The Princess (first 1847) is the only volume of poetry that Tennyson was to publish in the later 1840s, while finishing In Memoriam (1850). The poem...

    £275

  13. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    Timbuctoo. A Poem, which obtained the Chancellor’s Medal at the Cambridge Commencement, 1829. [Cambridge,...

    1829-1851.

    First editions. Timbuctoo, extracted from Prolusiones Academicae, is Tennyson’s first named appearance in print. It is bound here with the rare Memoir of Henry Fitzmaurice Hallam, the second son of the historian Henry Hallam. His brother Arthur had died in 1833 at the age of 22,...

    £450

  14. TENNYSON, Arthur, Lord.

    Enoch Arden, etc.

    London: Edward Moxon & Co. … 1864.

    First edition, the issue with the earliest (August) state of Moxon’s inserted 8-page catalogue. Wise, Tennyson 107; Tinker 2083.

    £100

  15. [THEATRE].

    La locanda commedia da rappresentarsi in Firenze nel Teatro di Via del Cocomero nell’autunno dell’anno 1756.

    Florence, Pietro Gaetano Viviani, 1756.

    Sole edition, extremely rare (no other copy listed in library catalogues), of this three-act comedy, a notable example of the new Italian comedy inspired by Goldoni. This work appears to echo Goldoni’s La vedova scaltra (1748), while developing the plot and the theme along original trajectories....

    £700

  16. THELWALL, John.

    Poems chiefly written in Retirement. The Fairy of the Lake, a dramatic Romance; Effusions of relative and social...

    Hereford, Printed by W. H. Parker; sold by West and Hughes … S. Phillips … and Jas. Ridgeway … London; J Stockdale … Dublin; &c. &c. 1801.

    First or second edition (distinguished only by the half-title, here wanting, otherwise identical).

    £650

  17. [THE OLD MAID.]

    Six lithograph plates with verses below: ‘When I was a girl of eighteen years old …’.

    c. 1835?

    Apparently unrecorded – an attractive illustrated edition of a popular slip-ballad, here reduced to 8 verses of the original 13.

    £750

  18. THOMAS, Dylan, and Sir Peter Blake, illustrator.

    Under Milk Wood: A Play for Voices.

    London: Apple Litho (Bristol) Ltd. for Enitharmon Editions and Queen Anne Press, 2013.

    De Luxe edition, number 61 of 100 copies with a signed print by Blake. This finely-produced edition was published to mark the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth and celebrates the culmination of over twenty-five years of work by Peter Blake, one of the founding fathers of British Pop Art. The...

    £975

  19. [THOMPSON, Thomas].

    The genuine tryal of Dr. Nosmoth, a physician in Pekin; for the murder of the Mandarine Tonwin…

    London, Mary Cooper, 1746.

    First edition, a satire, putting Dr. Nosmoth, aka Thomas Thompson, on trial for causing the death of ‘Mandarine Tonwin’, aka Thomas Winnington, the Paymaster of the Forces. The somewhat shady circumstances surrounding the death soon attracted the attentions of Society gossip, including being discussed...

    £425

  20. THOMSON, James.

    Essays and Phantasies …

    London: Reeves and Turner … 1881.

    First edition of a volume of essays by the author of The City of Dreadful Night. Most are probably reprinted from the National Reformer, the Secularist, or Cope’s Tobacco Plant, to which ‘the laureate of pessimism’ was a regular contributor.

    £150