British literature and history from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, with an emphasis on poetry, fiction, and drama.
We usually have a selection of literary works from the STC and Wing period (i.e. before 1701), and a broad range of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fiction and poetry, particularly the Romantics. We also have a selection of historical manuscripts, prints and broadsides, and works in translation.
Among important works which have passed through our hands are the editor's presentation copy of Milton's Lycidas, Swift's Modest Proposal, the autograph draft of Byron's She walks in beauty, the autograph manuscript of Jane Austen's only play Sir Charles Grandison, Dickens’s copy of Vanity Fair, Trollope's classical library, and, over the years, some fifty Shakespeare First Folios.
Favola di due gatti e della scimia coll’ appello de’ medesimi gatti all’ orso, divisa in due...
Florence, Bernardo Paperini, 1730.
First complete edition. A rare fable in parallel Latin and Italian verse by members of the Accademia dell’Arcadia, comprising Due gatti ed una scimia (first published in 1728) and the first appearance of the second part, Appello de’ due gatti all’ orso. Both are published only pseudonymously under...
ACCOUNT OF THE MOST REMARKABLE VOYAGES (An)
from the Discovery of America by Columbus to the present Time.
London: William Darton and Son … 1831.
First and only edition of a compendium of exploration and discovery for children, taking in Columbus, Drake, Parry, Look, Franklin etc. True to its promise to record adventures up ‘to the present time’, the most recent voyage recorded here is Captain Ross’s attempt to discover the North-West passage....
ALBERTI, Leon Battista.
El Momo. La moral e muy graciosa historia del Momo; compuesta en Latin por el docto varon Leon Bapista...
Alcalá de Henares, Joan Mey Flandro, 1553.
First edition in Spanish of Alberti’s Momus [or De principe], translated by Augustín de Almaçan and with an introductory 8 pp. Exposición by the Toledo ascetic writer and scholar Alejo Venegas (1495?–1554?).
ALBERT, Sidney P.
‘Shaw’s Advice to the Players of Major Barbara’, Reprinted from Theatre Survey, X, 1 (1969); and ‘Reflections...
Reprinted from Modern Drama, XIV, 2 (1791).
ALEKSANDROVA, Zinaida and Dmitry GORLOV.
Мишкины соседи [Little Bear’s neighbours].
Moscow, VLKSM Izdatelstvo Detskoi Literaturi, 1936.
First edition. A very nice copy of this collection of verses for young children, composed by one of the most prolific Soviet children’s poets, and illustrated by one of the most prolific of Soviet children’s artists. The tales tell of the lives of a selection of farm and wild animals, including a...
ALFIERI, Vittorio. LLOYD, Charles, translator.
The Tragedies of Vittorio Alfieri; translated from the Italian … In three Volumes …
London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown … 1815.
First edition of this translation, which Lloyd undertook ‘on the suggestion of a friend whose judgement I highly respect’. This friend was likely Southey, who he addresses as his ‘sponsor’ in the ‘Dedicatory Sonnet’. He held Southey in high esteem, and benefited from his friendship through...
Minutes in Agriculture and Planting … Illustrated with Specimens of eight Sorts of the best, and two Sorts of...
Boston [Lincolnshire], Printed by J. Hellaby, 1804.
First edition, rare. William Amos was the steward of the Brothertoft estate of the ‘father of reform’ John Cartwright, and author of an earlier work on The Theory and Practice of Drill Husbandry (1794). Here he provides descriptions, and samples, of both ‘artificial’ and ‘natural’...
Le mie vedute su la sanità e la longevità.
Naples, Vincenzo Orsino, 1804.
Rare first edition, purportedly a reply to Sir John Sinclair’s 1802 pamphlet An essay on longevity.
The Birds … Translated by the Rev. Henry Francis Cary … With Notes.
London: Printed for Taylor and Hessey … 1824.
First edition. ‘Given how much there is in Aristophanes to outrage and violate nineteenth-century manners and sensibilities, it may seem surprising how popular he was. The popularity came at the price of bowdlerizing much of the “grossness”, but there was admiration and even a certain yearning...
Il buffone di nuova invenzione in Italia. O sia i viaggi del vagabondo Salsiccia Salisburgese […] con un...
Venice, Antonio Bortoli, 1740.
First and only edition of Arizzi’s adaptation of Gottfried Prehauser’s Wienerische Hannswurst nebst lustige Reyss-Beschreibung aus Salzburg in verschiedene Länder, published anonymously and for a long time wrongly attributed to Benedetto Marcello.
The Strayed Reveller, and other Poems. By A.
London: B. Fellowes …1849
First edition of Arnold’s first book, apart from the Rugby and Oxford prize poems Alaric at Rome and Cromwell. To conceal his authorship as ‘A.’ suggests a certain reticence about the volume, even though it contains a number of his finest early poems, including ‘The Forsaken Merman’. Only 500...
St. Augustine, of the Citie of God: with the learned Comments of Io. Lod. Vives. Englished by J. H.
[London,] Printed by George Eld. 1610.
First edition in English of Augustine’s City of God, translated by the traveller and gentleman’s steward John Healey. ‘Our earliest treatise on the philosophy of history’, as Voltaire called it, City of God is a cornerstone of Western thought, pervading the whole of the Middle Ages,...
[AUGUSTINE, Saint, attributed author.]
The Meditations of Saint Augustine, from the Latin Original. By the Rev. J. Martin, O.S.A. …
Dublin: Printed for the Author, by H. Fitzpatrick … 1798
First edition of this rare translation of the pseudo-Augustinian Meditationum Liber, an eleventh-century devotional text very popular in the Middle Ages.
Mansfield Park: a Novel. In three Volumes … Second Edition.
London: Printed for J. Murray … 1816.
Second edition, revised. This is the only one of Jane Austen’s novels with textual revisions of any significance. She ‘seems in general to have prepared the text for the first editions of her novels with the greatest care, so that they contain few misprints, and the alterations made in the later...
The Essayes or Counsels, civill and morall … Newly enlarged.
London, Printed by John Haviland … 1632.
Third edition of the definitive text of Bacon’s Essayes, first published in 1625. The first edition appeared in 1597 comprising only ten short essays; in 1612 these were revised and a further twenty-eight essays added. The 1625 edition contained fifty-eight essays, twenty of them new, and the rest...
Hermsprong; or, Man as he is not. A Novel … By the Author of Man as he is.
London: Printed for William Lane, at the Minerva Press … 1796.
First edition of Bage’s last and finest novel.
Stated in a Dialogue betwixt a Prude and a Coquet, last Masquerade Night, the 12th of May …
London: Printed for J. Roberts … 1724.
First edition, rare, of an amusing verse dialogue between two women preparing to attend one of the popular masquerade balls staged by the Swiss impresario John James Heidegger. Hilaria, a coquette, is effusive about the pleasures of the imminent party and she offers a tempting vision of the delights...
A Letter in Praise of Verona . In the original Latin Text with an English Translation by Betty Radice.
Verona, [Officina Bodoni,] 1974.
First edition, No. 34 of 150 copies: an elegant facsimile reprint of one of Verona’s rarest incunables. Barduzzi’s eulogistic letter to Giovanni Nesi was first printed in 1489 by Paulus Fridenperger. The Latin text is followed here by an English translation and a biographical postscript by Giovanni...
Mirza. A Tragedie, really acted in Persia, in the last Age. Illustrated with historicall Annotations.
London: Printed for Humphrey Moseley … [1655?].
First edition of Baron’s last literary endeavour, a violent revenge tragedy influenced by Jonson’s Catiline, mostly in verse, packed with political intrigue, murders ‘and Seraglio’s too’, all fitting subjects for its exotic setting. Not intended for performance, which been impossible...
An historical Account of Thomas Sutton Esq; and of his Foundation in Charter-House …
London: Printed by E. Owen, and sold by F. Gyles … W. Hinchliffe … J. and P. Knapton … J. Stagg … and S. Birt … 1737.
First edition. Thomas Sutton (1532-1611) was an Elizabethan civil servant who made an enormous fortune from leases of land rich in coal in Durham. In 1611 he bought Howard House for £13,000 from the Earl of Suffolk; the building acquired its more familiar name, ‘Charterhouse’, after the order of...