8vo., pp. viii, 56, with a half-title (loose at head); final page dusty, some light foxing, but a good copy, disbound.
US $1640 €1398
First edition, scarce, an eloquent and amusing account of hare-hunting, the first monograph on the subject in English, comprising letters on the superiority of hare-hunting to fox-hunting (less dangerous, less laborious), on the best types of dogs, of trailing and starting hares, etc. Gardiner’s letter in praise of hares is noble stuff indeed: ‘They ramble through the Barn-Yard in the Night, and disregard the gaunt growling Mastiff; traverse the Orchard and the Garden, intrepid and fearless; explore the dangerous Pond-Head, nor dread the roaring waters …’.
In a curious literary preface, Gardiner wryly exhorts writers to expound on such ‘universal’ topics as pantomimickry and card games, and praises Samuel Richardson: ‘may many good Fortunes befall … he who wrote the Books, wherein are rehearsed, the Acts of Clarissa Harlow, and her Uncle Anthony [Clarissa was published in 1748]. Heavens! with what a marvelous Preciseness (as Cervantes says) do they describe every simple Circumstance!’ For himself, ‘I flatter myself there may be found some worn-out, decay’d, rheumatic, or gouty Harrier; whose Curiosity may lead him to pore into these Sheets’.
ESTC shows five copies in the UK, and two in the US: Princeton and Yale.
Schwerdt, I, 197 (‘a classic on hare hunting, which had for centuries been preferred to foxhunting’).
You may also be interested in...
A FAMOUS BAWD, AND POPE'S LOVERS TANNER, Anodyne, M.D., pseud.
The Life of the late celebrated Mrs. Elizabeth Wisebourn, vulgarly call’d Mother Wybourn; containing secret Memoirs of several Ladies of the first Q---y, who held an Assembly at her House; together with her last Will and Testament … London: Printed for A. Moore … [1721?].
First edition of a scurrilous account of Elizabeth Wisebourn[e], a famous bawd, and the goings-on in the gilded apartments of her elegant London brothel in Drury-Lane. Born in 1653 and educated in Rome under the tuition of a Lady Abbess to whom ‘she ow’d all that she knew of her Business’, Elizabeth made the acquaintance of ladies of first rank on her return to London, setting up a House where they could consort in private with the greatest variety of gallants. She also maintained a supply of the latest anti-venereal nostrums (a medical theme underlies the main narrative). Although her clients, female and male, are concealed by dashes and invented names, they must have been readily recognized by readers of the day. As her business increased she joined forces with the opera manager John James Heidegger, and together they conceived scandalous masquerades ‘to promote the Trade of her House’.
A WORDSWORTH RARITY WORDSWORTH, William.
A Letter to a Friend of Robert Burns: occasioned by an intended Republication of the Account of the Life of Burns, by Dr. Currie; and of the Selection made by him from his Letters …
First edition. James Currie’s Works of Burns with a life and letters was first published in 1800 and several times reprinted and enlarged.