8vo, pp. xiv, 442, with frontispiece portrait; damp-stain and slight foxing to title and frontispiece, offsetting to title; a very good copy in contemporary half hard-grained morocco with non-pareil marbled sides, spine gilt compartments and lettered directly in gilt, non-pareil marbled edges and endpapers; rubbed, a little chipping at edges; bookplate of John Fowles, with manuscript notes, annotations, and index.
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Memoirs of the Life of Judge Jeffreys, sometime Lord High Chancellor of England.
First edition of a favourable biography of Judge Jeffreys. A jurist, Humphry William Woolrych (1795–1871) published a life of Edward Coke in 1826 and of Jeffreys the following year, as well as legal texts, a few works of poetry, and a novel. The unrepentant style of this near-hagiography causes Fowles to describe him as an ‘evident Tory’.
From the library of John Fowles, with manuscript notes.
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ON ROYAL PAPER
POPE AND SWIFT UNWITTING ‘SUBSCRIBERS’ HUGHES, John.
Poems on several Occasions. With some select Essays in Prose. In two Volumes …
First edition of the principal collection of the author’s works, published posthumously and edited, with a long biographical preface, by his brother-in-law, William Duncombe. John Hughes (1677–1720) was educated at a dissenting academy where Isaac Watts was his contemporary. From an early age he devoted himself to poetry and letters, and was gradually drawn into the Addison–Steele circle where, as Samuel Johnson puts it, he was ‘received as a wit among the wits’; he contributed at least three numbers to the Tatler, seventeen to the Spectator, and one to the Guardian. Hughes also had a passion for music, and was a talented violinist. He championed the use of English verse for operas and cantatas, and many of his lyrics were set to music by such contemporary composers as Dr Pepusch. In the year of his death, he wrote a tragedy called The Siege of Damascus, which proved highly successful and remained in the repertory for the rest of the century.
PRE-PUBLICATION MANUSCRIPT CASTI, Giovanni Battista.
‘Il novelliere Italiano versificato ossia le piacevoli e curiose novelle in ottava rima del celebre sigr. abate Giambattista Casti poeta cesareo.’
A handsome manuscript compendium of a selection of the witty Novelle galanti of the Italian poet and satirist Casti, apparently compiled at Vienna two years before the first partial edition was printed at Rome in 1790. An interesting witness to the Novelle’s circulation in manuscript prior to publication, which would repay careful textual analysis.