BIBLIOMACHIA

A Tale of a Tub … to which is added, an Account of a Battle between the antient and modern Books in St. James’s Library … with the Author’s Apology, and explanatory Notes … 

London, C. Bathurst, 1751. 

12mo in 6s, pp. [2], xx, [8], 261, with copper-engraved frontispiece and 7 engraved plates; part-titles for each work; the occasional light spot; in contemporary calf binding, borders and spine ruled in gilt, spine numbered ‘I’ directly in gilt, edges speckled red; a little worn, headcap and -band lost, but a very good copy.

£175

Approximately:
US $214€202

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A scarce later edition of Swift’s classic satires on corruption in religion and learning, as exemplified in the conduct of Peter (Roman Catholicism), Martin (Luther), and Jack (Calvin) in the Tale of the Tub, and the spirited fight over the highest peak of Parnassus in the Battel of the Books.  Both pieces were written at Moor Park about 1696-7, when Swift was acting as secretary to Sir William Temple, whose uncritical praise of the spurious Epistles of Phalaris had stirred up the controversy over ancient and modern learning. 

This tenth edition is fashioned after the fifth (1710), containing the author’s Apology and the explanatory notes, partly by Swift and partly by his adversary William Wotton (the latter used, of course, satirically).  The humorous illustrations, which likewise first appeared in the fifth edition, are here newly engraved in smaller size to fit the format. 

Bathurst issued sheets of this edition both as the first volume in his Works of Dr. Jonathan Swift and, as here, with a cancel title for the single volume.  ESTC records only three copies of this issue (BL, Bodley, and Bowdoin College). 

ESTC T73684; Teerink-Scouten 239A. 

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