The Wonders of the Peak …

Nottingham: Printed by John Collyer, and sold by H. Cantrel and H. Allestree in Derby. J. Bradley and S. Gunter in Chesterfield, and Mr. Whitworth in Manchester … 1725.

Small 8vo. in fours, pp. [2], 71, [1], title-page in red and black within type-ornament border; a very good copy in late eighteenth-century polished calf (slight insect damage to front joint); armorial bookplates of Mathew Wilson of Eshton Hall, Yorkshire, and of the eminent collector Frances Mary Richardson Currer (his granddaughter), and of the Nottingham collector Col. William Allen Porter.


US $1749€1425

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First Nottingham edition of a poem originally printed in London in 1681, and reprinted in 1683 and 1694. The subject matter may have been suggested to Cotton by Thomas Hobbes’s Latin poem De mirabilibus Pecci (c. 1627, reprinted with an English translation in 1678). Apart from the scenery of the Peak District – Poole’s Hole, St. Anne’s Well at Buxton, Tideswell, Elden Hole, Mam Tor, ‘Peak’s Arse commonly call’d the Devil’s Arse’ – the seventh Wonder is Chatsworth, the seat the Duke of Devonshire, a ‘stately and stupendious Pile’:

This Palace, with wild Prospects girded round
Stands in the Middle of a falling Ground,
At a black Mountain’s Foot, whose craggy Brow
Secures from Eastern Tempests all below …
The noble Front of the whole Ædifice,
In a surprising Height, is seen to rise …
And should I be so mad to go about
To give Account of ev’ry Thing throughout
… Picture, Sculpture, Carving Graving, Gilding,
It would be as long in Writing as in Building.

The account of Chatsworth (pp. 60-71), and the poem, ends with a description of the gardens, and with graceful compliments to the Duchess and the Duke.

This attractive little Nottingham edition, printed for sale by local booksellers, is uncommon. ESTC lists 9 copies, Huntington only in USA.

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