The Abbey of Kilkhampton; or monumental Records for the Year 1980 …

London, Printed for G. Kearsley … 1780.

4to., pp. [4], 75, [1]; title-page dusty and slightly browned, dark dampstain to head at end, else a good copy in modern wrappers.


US $318€257

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First edition of an immensely popular satire: an assembly of epitaphs on Croft’s contemporaries published as if by a future antiquary. Croft’s unfortunate victims include the Countess of Huntingdon (‘a Martyr to Superstition, Madness, Ill-nature, Pride, and Hypocrisy’), Edmund Burke, Edward Gibbon, William Pitt, Frances Dashwood (‘The most careless, and perhaps the most facetious Libertine of his Age’), and John Wilkes. There were at least eight editions within the year, with additions, plus several of a second part.

Croft later spent many years, and many reams of paper, on a proposed revision of Johnson’s Dictionary which never came to fruition.

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