The Suffolk Garland: or, a Collection of Poems, Songs, Tales, Ballads, Sonnets, and Elegies, legendary and romantic, historical and descriptive, relative to that County; and illustrative of its Scenery, Places, Biography, Manners, Habits and Customs … Ipswich: Printed and Sold by John Raw; Sold also by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown; and Rodd and Son, London.

Ipswich: Printed and Sold by John Raw; Sold also by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown; and Rodd and Son, London. 1818

8vo., pp. xv. [1], 404, with half-title, vignette on title page and ten other vignettes; a very good, fresh copy, entirely untrimmed, rebound in library buckram.

£275

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The Suffolk Garland: or, a Collection of Poems, Songs, Tales, Ballads, Sonnets, and Elegies, legendary and romantic, historical and descriptive, relative to that County; and illustrative of its Scenery, Places, Biography, Manners, Habits and Customs … Ipswich: Printed and Sold by John Raw; Sold also by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown; and Rodd and Son, London.

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First edition of a miscellany of verse, much of it ephemeral, selected by the antiquary James Ford (1770-1850), perpetual curate of St. Laurence, Ipswich. In the preface Ford provides an outline of the history of ballads, drolleries, and penny literature and of how they have been collected by Pepys and others, notably the Duke of Roxburghe.

The Garland is divided into four parts: local descriptions, events, biographical memoirs and characters, and manners and customs. The expected contemporary poets are well represented – Bernard Barton, George Crabbe, Robert Bloomfield – along with many forgotten names and two earlier figures, John Lydgate and Thomas Nashe. Donne and Milton both appear as authors of elegies on Suffolk worthies, Elizabeth Drury and Thomas Young. Local verse includes poems on Aldeburgh, St. Edmunds Bury, Dunwich, and Felixstowe, while biographical pieces range from aristocrats and clergymen to the poor-house lad Willy Twigger and the itinerant poet James Chambers. The poems on manners and customs draw heavily on Thomas Tusser, the poet of husbandry. Ford’s extensive annotations are informative and sympathetic.

In 1830 Ford was to marry Laetitia Jermyn, the daughter of the Ipswich stationer George Jermyn and step-daughter of John Raw, publisher of The Suffolk Garland.

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