Pirated by Pope

Letters, on the Spirit of Patriotism: on the Idea of a Patriot King: and on the State of Parties, at the Accession of King George the First.

London: Printed for A. Millar … 1749.

8vo, pp. xi, [1], 9-251, [1], with a half-title; first and last few leaves foxed, but a good copy in contemporary polished calf, rebacked preserving the old spine, red morocco labels; ownership inscriptions of James Bunn (contemporary) and Thomas Bunn (later); bookplate of the broadcaster and bibliophile D. G. Bridson, with a few passages marked by him in the margin in pencil.

£375

Approximately:
US $475€438

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First authorised edition. Written in 1738 for the Prince of Wales, the manuscript was then entrusted to Pope who had it printed, to Bolingbroke’s fury: he bought up the entire edition and had it burnt in October 1744 (only two imperfect copies survive, at the British Library and Princeton). He later issued this edition, with a preface reproaching Pope (though he is not named directly) for his ‘breach of trust’.

Bridson would have read this volume as part of his research for The Filibuster: a Study of the political Ideas of Wyndham Lewis (1972), in which he mentions that Lewis ‘admits to having toyed with the idea of a Patriot King as predicated by Bolingbroke’.

Rothschild 414.

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