8vo., pp. xix, , 133, , possibly wanting a portrait; first eight pages printed on blue-tinted paper; a very good copy in modern quarter calf and marbled boards; bookplates of Arthur Dalyrmple and R. C. Fiske.
Added to your basket:
The wonder working Water-Mill displayed with its Apparatus, Appurtenances, Appendages, and Operations; or, the Mill to grind old People young; erected and practised by the well known Doctor, the learned philanthropic Friend of Farmer Hodge …
First and only edition, very rare, of this eccentric, provincially printed allegory: Pilgrim’s Progress meets Tristram Shandy.
Mendham begins by outlining his tale’s elaborate allegorical apparatus. The most important elements include the Mill itself, which represents ‘the true Church of God’; its hopper, which represents the ‘state of humiliation’; and its two grinders, which represent the ‘fear of destruction mixed with hope of deliverance’. To reach the mill, visitors must walk across the ‘meadow of contemplation’ which is apt to put them in a ready mood for conversion. The mill’s first few clients are easily processed: ‘they readily entered the hopper, passed between the grinders, and descended by the spout … astonishingly altered’. Trickier customers include ‘Lord Lothario’ and ‘Prim Pimp’. It also plays host to a celebrity guest, ‘Farmer George’ (evidently George III) who is suffering from a bout of madness and at one point ‘in the flurry of his mind’ strikes one of the mill’s attendants, knocking him ‘flat on his back’. They are followed by a Papist, a Presbyterian, a Baptist, a Methodist, and a Swedenborgian.
Thomas Mendham was obviously much influenced by the works of Laurence Sterne and imitates many of his narrative eccentricities. There are several prefaces addressed variously to ‘Brother Mortals’, ‘Kings, Peers, and Plebeians’, and ‘Candid Perusers’. Mendham also displays shimmers of Sterne’s typographic whimsy. At one point, a lull in conversation is represented as ‘————————— a pause ——————————’
Thomas Mendham may have been connected with Mendham Mill near Norwich, which was recorded in the Domesday Book and rebuilt in 1820.
Very scarce. ESTC records only three copies: at the BL, Norwich, and the University of Minnesota.
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The History of Sandford and Merton, abridged from the Original. Embellished with elegant Plates … Third Edition.
Third edition of Richard Johnson’s abridgement of Day’s most famous and most enduring children’s book (1783, with sequels in 1786 and 1789), first published in this form in 1790. ESTC shows three copies of the first edition; five of the second; and BL and UCLA only of this third; Roscoe adds a copy in the Opie collection at Oxford.
SWIFTIANA [TORBUCK, John].
A Collection of Welsh Travels and Memoirs of Wales. Containing I. The Briton Describ’d, or a Journey thro’ Wales: Being a pleasant Relation of D__n S___t’s Journey to that ancient Kingdom … II. A Trip to North Wales, by a Barrister of the Temple. III. A Funeral Sermon, preach’d by the Parson of Langwillin. IV. Muscipila; or the Welsh Mouse-Trap, a Poem. The Whole collected by J. T. a mighty Lover of Welsh Travels.
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