Juvenilia or certaine Paradoxes and Problemes … The second Edition, corrected.

London, Printed by E. P. for Henry Seyle … 1633.

Small 4to., pp. [4], 44, with the initial blank; small stain to inner margin of first gathering, else a very good copy in modern boards, bookplate of the Welsh industrialist Thomas Edward Watson.


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Second edition, published in the same year as the first, with the omission of the licences to print but adding twenty-three new lines to Problem I, ‘Why have Bastards best Fortune’ (‘Because Fortune herself is a Whore …’), a Problem which, Keynes remarks, ‘was particularly insulting to the Court’.

‘Donne’s Juvenilia are clever and entertaining trifles, most of which were probably written before or soon after 1600 during his youth … Owing to their rather free nature they could not be published during Donne’s lifetime, but in 1632, shortly after his death, part of them was licensed by Sir Henry Herbert … It is not known through what channels the publisher, Henry Seyle, obtained possession of the text, which had been circulating for over thirty years in a number of manuscripts’ (Keynes). In a letter of 1600, probably to Sir Henry Wotton, Donne himself refers to their ‘lightnes’ for ‘they were made rather to deceive tyme than her daughthr truth … they are but swaggerers’. Keynes notes that ‘the second edition is now more uncommon than the first’.

STC 7044; Keynes 44.

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