4to., pp. xxii, 69, ; with half-title and a sixteen-page list of 961 subscribers; apart from slight fraying a very good copy, uncut, in original blue-grey wrappers and tan paper spine.
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The Sorrows of Werter: a Poem …
First edition. Amelia Pickering’s ‘melancholy, contemplative poem’ (Todd) was one of a spate of works in English and German founded on Goethe’s novel, including poems by Charlotte Smith and Mary Robinson, both subscribers here. Pickering ‘gives to Charlotte a voice, if rather weakly moralistic, and to Werter suffering which is acute, credible and unhysterical’ (Feminist Companion citing ‘The Sorrows of Young Charlotte: Werter’s English Sisters’, Goethe Yearbook, 1986).
Mary Wollstonecraft, however, was not enthusiastic. ‘To pity Werter we must read the original ... The energy … is lost in this smooth, and even faithful, imitation … Werter is dead from the beginning: we hear his very words; but the spirit which animated them is fled …’ (Analytical Review, January 1789).
Speck Collection 1155.
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The Pleasures of Melancholy. A Poem …
First edition of Warton’s second publication, preceded by Five Pastoral Eclogues (1745), and written at that time, though Warton also contributed to his brother Joseph’s Odes on various Subjects (1746). The Pleasures of Melancholy was Warton’s first major poem, a meditative blank-verse work more referred-to than read, with a debt to Milton and several nods to Pope, and helped to establish his reputation.
[KERNER, Johann Georg.]
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Rare first edition of this historical, political and economic analysis of Sweden, in epistolary form, complete with a folding table detailing land tax revenues by region.