2 vols., 8vo., pp. xv, , xxiv, , 297, ; , -621, ; a fine copy in contemporary calf, green mottled edges, front joint of volume I cracking at head; bookplate and early signature of Lord Forbes.
US $1383 €1217
First edition: ‘the most successful English rendering of Statius’ Thebaid’ (Sowerby), translated into heroic couplets by William Lillington Lewis. ‘Ably captur[ing] the sublimity, eeriness, and violence of the original’, it was to be his only work (Oxford DNB).
‘As Lewis remarks in his preface, his was the first complete rendering, despite Statius’ reputation as the next best Latin versifier after Virgil. Lewis refers respectfully to Pope’s translation of Book I, from which he takes hints. But his rendering represents an essentially new start, with fewer liberties … The ease, flow, and consistent dignity which characterize Lewis’s version as a whole make it eminently readable’ (Robin Sowerby, The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, eds. Gillespie & Hopkins, vol. III, p. 168).
Statius was one of three books Johnson subscribed to in 1767, the others being Francis Fawkes’ translation of Theocritus and Handel’s Messiah.
Donald D. Eddy & J. D. Fleeman, A Preliminary Handlist of Books to which Dr. Samuel Johnson subscribed (1993) 59.
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SOUTHEY A SUBSCRIBER SANDERSON, Thomas.
Original Poems …
This collection, ‘written in a sequestered village’, includes ‘Shakespeare, the Warwickshire Thief’, ‘Elegy to the memory of Robert Burns the Scottish poet’, ‘Sonnet to the Right Hon. Edmund Burke’, and ‘Ode to the Genius of Cumberland’. Thomas Sanderson (1759-1829) was a schoolmaster and friend of the Cumbrian poets Robert Anderson, and Josiah Relph. He wrote a memoir of Relph, as well as an elegy which appears here, and compiled A Companion to the Lakes.
EDITED BY THE POET COWPER’S UNCLE [COWPER, Ashley, editor].
The Norfolk poetical Miscellany. To which are added some select Essays and Letters in Prose. Never printed before. By the Author of the Progress of Physick. In two Volumes …
First edition. This lively miscellany, containing a large number of amusing short poems (but nothing for the libertine), was assembled by William Cowper’s uncle, the father of Theodora, later Lady Hesketh, with whom the poet fell in love. The dedication to the young Lady Caroline [Cowper] is subscribed ‘Timothy Scribble’: ‘Too true it is, that the present Age has been fruitful of Miscellanies; and I wish it was less true, that even the best Collections of them (tho’ handed to us by the brightest Wits of our Family [i.e. Scribblers and Scriblerians]) are not without some Impurities, which make them very unfit Companions for Youth ….’ ‘But to say a Word of the following Collection. It consists chiefly of Original Pieces – many of them (and those I fear the worst) are the Editor’s own – some never so much as handed about in Manuscript – few ever committed to the Press before ….’