Large 8vo, (252 x 172 mm), pp. xvi, 424, with colour frontispiece and 36 illustrations in text; burgundy cloth, blocked in gold on spine, printed dust-jacket.
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Bibliotheca Fictiva: a Collection of Books and Manuscripts Relating to Literary Forgery 400 BC – AD 2000.
An inventory of books and manuscripts relating to literary forgery. Spanning some twenty-four centuries, the book seeks also to define and describe the controversial genre it represents. Individual entries offer specific commentary on the forgers and their work, their exposers and their dupes. A broad prefatory overview surveys the entire field in its topical, historical, and national diversity.
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THE GENTLEMAN HIGHWAYMAN [POPE, Walter].
The Memoires of Monsieur Du Vall: containing the history of his Life and Death. Whereunto are annexed his last Speech and Epitaph …
First(?) edition of partly fictitious and often satirical life of the highwayman Claude Duval, published shortly after his execution in 1670. This is the more substantial of two opportunistic biographies, between them the main sources of information about him, though by no means entirely trustworthy.
SHERIDAN, Richard Brinsley.
The Speech … in the House of Commons, (8th December 1802) on the Motion for the Army Establ shment (sic, the i has dropped out) for the ensuing Year.
First edition of Sheridan’s impressive speech on the army estimates, in support of funding precautions against Buonaparte’s aggression – ‘the crisis in which we are placed … so big with tremendous importance, so pregnant with mighty difficulties, so full of apprehensions and dangers ….’ ‘I have heard instances, Sir, where mounting wooden guns upon a fort has produced the same security as if there had been real ones. But unluckily in this instance for us, by our constitutional form of proceeding, our whole force must be known: we cannot pass upon an enemy wooden guns, and an army at Brentford. If we vote no force, an enemy will know we have none ….’