8vo, pp. [vi], 106; aside from some marking to the last page, and very occasional light spotting, clean and fresh throughout; in slightly later calf-backed boards, title in gilt on spine; a good copy, with deaccession stamps from the International Institute of Social History on verso of title-page.
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Athaliah; or the tocsin sounded by modern alarmists: two collection sermons, towards defraying the expense of the defendants in the late trials for high treason: preached on the nineteenth of April, 1795, in St Paul’s Church, Norwich.
Only edition of these two sermons preached by the Norwich Methodist-turned-Baptist Mark Wilks (1748-1819) to raise money for the three radical publishers and writers newly acquitted of high treason. The climate as it now is, Wilks says, is one where even to use a French phrase is to invite suspicion, ‘but the word that has inspired the most dread in the British senate, and the adoption of which appears most criminal, is that of Citizen – Citizen!! How terrific! how inauspicious!’. But the men accused of treason, rather than being deserving of punishment, deserve the ‘praise, thanks, and admiration of a whole nation’.
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L’heureuse benediction des maisons.
A wonderful devotional broadside printed in the Breton town of Vannes, comprising a crude woodcut depiction of the scene at Calvary, signed ‘Desloge’ at the base, with two cantiques spirituels. The image is identical to one that appeared in a similar publication, also undated, that appeared in Mourtain in Normandy, printed by Lebel; the surrounding border and the text, however, differ, and we are unable to establish priority. Similar images, appearing under the same title, were not uncommon in the mid nineteenth century in provincial France, but survivals are very rare. Lamarzelle was the publisher of numerous works, both religious and secular, throughout the nineteenth century. Nicolas de Lamarzelle, the present printer, was active between 1835 and 1849.
Neither the present version nor the Mourtain one recorded by OCLC.
CONTROVERSIAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY [HAZLITT, William.]
Liber amoris; or, the new Pygmalion.
First edition of one of the most controversial books in all English literature, a wonderful autobiographical text which has been systematically deprecated since its first publication. It tells the bitterly precise tale of Hazlitt’s infatuation with a servant girl, one Sarah Walker, his landlady’s daughter, in the year of his divorce from his wife. Hazlitt’s mordant narrative, couched as letters to two friends, spares neither himself, the blindly obsessed lover, nor the unworthy, out-classed, victimizing and victimized object of his love and lust. The little book is a classic of intimate autobiography, and a masterful, if perhaps initially unintentional exploitation of the ‘Pygmalion’ theme. ‘We are unusually close to a Romantic ideal of spontaneity … The letters, as they evoke and give lasting value to the writer’s emotions, form a kind of Romantic apologia’ (Jonathan Wordsworth, Visionary Gleam).