GRAY, [Thomas]. Poems … A new Edition. London, J. Murray, and Edinburgh, C. Elliot, 1776.
Two works in one vol., 8vo, pp. Jamieson: iv, 68, Gray: [2 (half-title)], xviii, -146, with copper-engraved frontispiece; copper-engraved vignette to title of Gray; some light browning and marginal offsetting to first and final leaves; overall very good copies in contemporary tree-patterned calf, evidence of earlier stab-stitching to inner margin of Jamieson; rebacked, endpapers renewed, extremities worn; ink ownership inscription ‘Elizth Bonar / 10th July 1798’.
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Congal and Fenella; A Tale in Two Parts.
First and only edition of Jamieson’s Scottish epic, bound with an early edition of Gray’s Poems.
Best known for his pioneering Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, the Glasgow-born antiquary and philologist John Jamieson (1759–1838) here turns to ‘the usurpation of Macbeth, well-known by the immortal pen of Shakespeare … It is an episode in that history, and the scene is placed on the classic banks of the Spey, in Scotland’ (p. iv). Sir Walter Scott considered Jamieson ‘an excellent good man and full of auld Scottish cracks’ (quoted in ODNB).
The work is here bound with an early edition of Gray’s Poems, including his highly influential ‘Elegy written in a Country Churchyard’, one of the most widely quoted poems of the eighteenth century. The poems are here joined by ‘A Short Account of the Life and Writings of Mr Gray’, added after the poet’s death by his friend and literary executor William Mason, who ‘added poems Gray had chosen not to print, and constructed the memoirs from selected letters, linked where necessary with brief passages of narrative’ (ODNB).
Included among Gray’s poems are ‘two translations from Old Norse, “The Fatal Sisters” and “The Descent of Odin”, and one from Welsh, “The Triumphs of Owen”, all probably dating from 1761, when his enthusiasm for James Macpherson’s Ossianic productions temporarily revived his interest in the prehistory of English poetry’ (ibid.). The frontispiece depicts the Old Norse god of Gray’s ode on Odin, pronouncing ‘in accents dread, / The thrilling verse that wakes the Dead’.
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[FORD, James, editor].
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.
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.
COLOURED PANORAMA FARINGTON, Susan Maria (illustrator).
The 104th Psalm. Illustrated by Susan Maria Ffarington. Worden.
The Faringtons or Ffaringtons were an ancient family of Worden Hall, Leyland, Lancashire, with a substantial family archive. Susan Maria (1808–1894) edited The Farington Papers for the Chetham Society in 1856, and made other contributions to local history, but this unusual panorama seems to have been her only foray into illustration. Psalm 104 lent itself to some striking landscape plates: horses and oxen (‘He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field’); cedars of Lebanon (‘The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon which he hath planted’); mountain scenery (‘The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats and the rocks for the conies’); sunset and daybreak; and three volcanoes (‘He toucheth the hills and they smoke’).