4to., pp. 71, ; a fine copy, disbound.
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A Letter from Rome, shewing an exact Conformity between Popery and Paganism: or, the Religion of the Present Romans derived from that of their heathen Ancestors … The third Edition, with Additions. .
Third edition. ‘The significant achievement’ of a winter in Rome, collecting antiquities and recovering his health, was Middleton’s ‘Letter from Rome, published in 1729, which argued vigorously that many customs and rituals in the Roman Catholic Church derived from ancient pagan religion. Though not an original view, as Middleton admits in the preface, the autobiographical form, anecdotal reference, and crisp style gave the work a personally authentic tone of an English Protestant bemused at an exotic spectacle …. Middleton found especially revolting the more extreme ascetic practices of the Catholic penitents …’ (Oxford DNB).
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AGNES BEDFORD’S COPY POUND, Ezra.
How to Read …
First edition, a fine association copy. Agnes Bedford (1892-1969) was a lifelong friend of Pound (they first met in 1919 and corresponded until 1963 when he unexpectedly severed contact) and through him of Wyndham Lewis, with whom she had an affair in the 1920s. A vocal coach and accompanist, she provided the music for Pound’s Five Troubadour Songs (1920). After he left for Paris in January 1920, Bedford sublet his flat; she then visited him in Paris the following year, where she was the principal amanuensis for his opera based on Villon’s Le Testament. She was later the rehearsal coach for its first performance in 1931 and her contacts were vital to the casting of singers (Bridson was later involved in the first broadcast of the opera in 1962, for which Bedford was frequently consulted). Laid in here is a copy of a letter of 4 May 1969 from Bedford to Bridson on his retirement – ‘I have been so happy to read all the appreciative things about you on all sides’ – recalling ‘happy times at Studio A’ and Bridson’s ‘kind friendship & affection for Wyndham’.
Bibliotheca Fictiva [supplements].
Three supplements to Arthur Freeman's Bibliotheca Fictiva, 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.