Small 4to., pp. , 24, with the medial blank (a)4; cut a bit close shaving the sidenotes on A3 and C3v, else a very good copy with the usual mistakes in the first sheet (A2 nus-signed A on the recto and A2 on the verso, page  mispaginated 23); new quarter morocco and marbled boards.
US $631 €506
First edition. Roscommon’s influential Essay, in heroic couplets, owes much to Boileau and to the author’s own education in France after the attainder of his kinsman the Earl of Strafford. Dryden, an intimate friend and himself the translator of Boileau’s Art of Poetry in the preceding year, contributes a long commendatory poem. Johnson was a later admirer and praised Roscommon as a critic who ‘improved taste’ and was ‘the only correct writer of verse before Addison’.
Macdonald 18a; Wing R 1930.
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First edition of Clare’s second book of poetry. Published the year after Poems descriptive of rural Life and Scenery (1820), it met with further success, owing in part to public curiosity about the Northamptonshire peasant. A biographical sketch in the Introduction helped to satisfy that curiosity. The title poem is autobiographical, and there are sixty sonnets in volume II.
Poems on several Occasions.
First authorised edition, preceded by Curll’s pirated collection of 1707. In the preface Prior complains that in Curll’s edition poems by other authors have been misattributed to him and that some of his own poems are ‘transcribed … so imperfectly, that I hardly knew them to be mine’. He divides the poems here into four categories, ‘Public Panegyrics’, ‘Amorous Odes’, ‘Idle Tales’, and ‘Serious Reflections’, but ‘some of its most famous poems (Henry and Emma, An English Padlock, and Jinny the Just) do not easily fit into any one of these categories’ (Oxford DNB).