Small 8vo., pp. 14; A2 a cancel (as usual according to Foxon), wanting the final blank leaf; slight offset from binding on title-page but a very good copy; disbound.
Added to your basket:
a Poem. Inscrib’d to Joseph Grove, Esq. of Richmond, in the County of Surrey …
First edition, rare (British Library and Yale only) of a very attractive description in verse of a country estate in Richmond. The first pages offer a prospect of the garden with its flowers and shrubs, shaded walks and arbours, a bower with the escutcheon over the door of the late Sir William Humble, Bart. (d.1724, presumably a previous owner), statues and ornaments, a wilderness, orchards, and a summer house. Footnotes explain in prose some of these features –
Near this Recess appears a sylvan Space,
Where Fortescue enjoys the Sweets of Peace ….
‘Contiguous’, the note explains, ‘is the Vineyard, a pleasant retir’d spot belonging to the Right Honourable William Fortescue, Esq; Master of the Rolls, a Gentleman of the greatest Worth and Integrity’. William Fortescue was Pope’s great friend, correspondent, and legal adviser, whom he addressed in the First Satire of the second Book of Horace imitated. Pope occasionally walked along the Thames from Twickenham to visit him (Maynard Mack).
From the garden the poet ascends to the Belvidere which gave the house its name, ‘a large Room adjoining to the House, fronting the Church, on the South Side of the Garden, having not only an agreeable Prospect of the Town of Richmond, but a very extensive View of the Country’ – the ‘rival hamlets’ of Highgate and Hampstead hills, the heights of Harrow concealing the stately ruins of Canons, and, ‘a little less remote’, Acton, Ealing, and ‘straggling Brentford, best at Distance viewed’, while ‘Imperial Thames beneath us rolls unseen.’ Then there are the houses of neighbours, notably the City magnate Sir Matthew Decker’s mansion on the Green, and Samuel Child’s, Lady Houblon’s, and Jonathan Hall’s. There is only a brief glance at Joseph Grove’s own house with its pictures and useful books –
A Villa which resembles much thy Heart,
Enrich’d by Nature, open, free from Art …
Here may you long with Health and Freedom prove,
These Joys you value – and that Peace you love ….
Joseph Grove (d. 1764) was a wealthy attorney and, in retirement, an amateur biographer whose lives of Wolsey and the Earls and Dukes of Devonshire are chiefly notable for their elaborate use of slightly ridiculous copperplates. Sadly his house does not survive.
The Belvidere, which is dated ‘Richmond, May 31, 1749’ at the end, is not in Aubin, Topographical Poetry (a rare omission, probably because it is so rare). Foxon B188.
You may also be interested in...
COUNT UGLY’S MASKED BALL BALL (The).
Stated in a Dialogue betwixt a Prude and a Coquet, last Masquerade Night, the 12th of May …
First edition, rare, of an amusing verse dialogue between two women preparing to attend one of the popular masquerade balls staged by the Swiss impresario John James Heidegger. Hilaria, a coquette, is effusive about the pleasures of the imminent party and she offers a tempting vision of the delights of the masquerade: ‘so vast the crowds, so num’rous are the lights / … I Chat, – I Laugh, – I Dance, – with Coquet’s Art, / Play over all my Tricks; – yet keep my heart.’ Her friend Lucretia, a prude, is sceptical, though her warnings are somewhat undermined by the crude sexual puns in which she frames her advice:
RARER THAN LUCASTA 1649 [LOVELACE, Richard.]
Lucasta. Posthume Poems …
First edition, a wholly different work from Lucasta 1649, published by the poet’s brother Dudley Posthumus Lovelace, with ‘Elegies sacred to the Memory of the Author’ at the end.