Small 8vo., pp. viii, 128; a very good copy in the original green fine-ribbed cloth, covers and spine stamped in blind, spine lettered in gilt.
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The Strayed Reveller, and other Poems. By A.
First edition of Arnold’s first book, apart from the Rugby and Oxford prize poems Alaric at Rome and Cromwell. To conceal his authorship as ‘A.’ suggests a certain reticence about the volume, even though it contains a number of his finest early poems, including ‘The Forsaken Merman’. Only 500 copies were printed, but while it may have sold badly, the traditional statement that the book was ‘withdrawn from circulation before many copies were sold’ (W. F. Prideaux) cannot be true as copies were still advertised for sale in Empedocles on Etna in 1852.
Hayward 256; Tinker 128.
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IN MEMORY OF HIS DAUGHTERS LA SERRIE, François-Joseph de.
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Very rare first edition of this collection of twenty-one elegies composed by the writer, artist and engraver François-Joseph de La Serrie (1770-1819), largely inspired by the deaths of his two daughters Marie Louise Aspasie, who died aged 15 in 1812, and Marie Rosalie-Cecile Virginie, who passed away three years later at the age of 23. The occasionally moving verse – in élégie XV the author struggles to explain his daughter’s death to his grandson – dwells on the themes of death, sorrow, hope, friendship, prayer and faith. The handsome accompanying plates, also by the author, depict Mary and the infant Jesus, his daughters’ tombs, St Cecilia, and St Similien of Nantes. The notes at the end include interesting passages on ancient libraries and on printers, including praise for the Didot family.
La Serrie’s works – which range across literature, philosophy and art, and include a life of Mary, Queen of Scots – were carefully printed in small numbers and distributed to his friends. This copy was presented by the author to a Madame Gillet.
Only one copy traced on OCLC, at the BnF. Not in Quérard.
THE ENGLISH: BEAUTIFUL BUT FLIGHTY GÉNIE ANGLOIS (LE),
ou histoire abrégée des revolutions fréquentes de la Grande-Bretagne; par un esprit desintéressé.
First and only edition of this curious children’s history of England in French, up to the death of Queen Anne in 1714.