Poetick Miscellanies …

London, Printed for Samuel Tidmarsh … 1687.

8vo., pp. [4], ii, [2], 143, [1], with a frontispiece portrait of Rawlet; contemporary pen trials and ownership inscription ‘Susanna Katherine Bardolf’ to verso of frontispiece; a very good copy in contemporary speckled calf, joints rubbed, a couple of small chips to the front board; bookplate of Robert S Pirie.


US $1555€1260

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First edition. Writing from the isolation of Newcastle, then a rural parish in fell country, Rawlet developed a mode of religious and descriptive poetry distinctly out of step with his own age, as is acknowledged by the editor in a verse preface: ‘Reader, expect not here, the filth of th’ Stage, / Poems that please, but more debauch the Age.’ Rawlet’s poems, such as ‘On a great Thunder and Storm’, ‘On a Cross with a Crown upon it, in Burton, betwixt Lancashire and Kendale’, and ‘On the sight of Furness Fells’, while looking back to Herbert in their weaving of the spiritual and the physical, please more by their anticipation of the topographical and sentimental concerns of the succeeding century.

John Rawlet (1642-1686) spent much of his life in the North, working as a curate in Wigan, Lancashire, and later holding the lectureship at St Nicholas’s, Newcastle. In ‘An Account of my Life in the North’, he compares the honesty of a rural Northern life, with Southern artificiality (though he concludes that if life in the North has a certain ‘want of joy’ then at least ‘Death … will seem less bitter’). In his lifetime he published two devotional works intended for poor readers.

Wing R 358.

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