4to., pp. 58, , with two folding engraved plates including a fine panorama of the Downs at Uffington and the White Horse by Vertue after Green; and pp. 57, , with a folding plate of the Downs at Princes Risborough and a plate of coats of arms; fine copies, disbound.
US $459 €391
First editions. A Letter to Dr Mead was the first serious archaeological study of the Uffington White Horse. Francis Wise, Keeper of the Archives at Oxford University and later a friend of Samuel Johnson, contends that the horse, which he eulogises as a work of art, had Saxon origins, because of the common use of horse motifs in Saxon decoration. His most enduring antiquarian contribution, however, is to link the nearby long barrow Wayland’s Smithy to the legendary Saxon figure Weland.
Shortly after the publication of A Letter to Dr Mead, an acrimonious pamphlet, The Impertinence and Imposture of modern Antiquaries issued under the name Philalethes Rusticus, responded with the claim, now believed accurate, that the horse in fact had iron-age British origins. Though Wise was first defended by George North he replied in his own hand with some Further Observations, expanding his remit to include several other hillside monuments.
You may also be interested in...
‘A TOUCHSTONE OF ROMANTIC CRITICISM’ COLERIDGE, Samuel Taylor.
Biographia Literaria; or biographical Sketches of my literary Life and Opinions … Vol I[-II].
First edition. Coleridge’s estimates of contemporary German poets and philosophers are justly celebrated, and the long autobiographical passages and critical analyses of Wordsworth and of Lyrical Ballads are of primary interest. ‘Though maddeningly unsystematic in structure, the book is a touchstone of Romantic criticism’ (OHEL).
PRAISING THE INTREPID HARE AND SAMUEL RICHARDSON GARDINER, John Smallman.
The Art and the Pleasures of Hare-Hunting. In six Letters to a Person of Quality …
First edition, scarce, an eloquent and amusing account of hare-hunting, the first monograph on the subject in English, comprising letters on the superiority of hare-hunting to fox-hunting (less dangerous, less laborious), on the best types of dogs, of trailing and starting hares, etc. Gardiner’s letter in praise of hares is noble stuff indeed: ‘They ramble through the Barn-Yard in the Night, and disregard the gaunt growling Mastiff; traverse the Orchard and the Garden, intrepid and fearless; explore the dangerous Pond-Head, nor dread the roaring waters …’.