English Literature

Contact Donovan Rees

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.

  1. [PRIMER.] 

    Abbecedario per imparar facilmente a sillabicare, coll’aggiunta di varie orazioni ad uso delle scuole. 

    Turin, Giacinto Marietti, [c. 1840?]. 

    A seemingly unrecorded Torino-printed primer, with a series of syllabised phrases on devotion and morality. 

    £400

  2. [BUNBURY, Henry William.] ‘GAMBADO, Geoffrey’.

    An Academy for grown Horsemen, containing the completest Instructions for Walking,...

    London, W. Dickinson, S. Hooper, and Messrs Robinsons, 1787 [colophon: Mount Vernon (NY), William Edwin Rudge, 1929].

    Limited edition, reprinted from the first, numbered 142 of 400 copies. A humorous parody of the manuals on horsemanship so fashionable in the late eighteenth century, Bunbury’s text was published pseudonymously as Geoffrey Gambado but the plates credited to his own name, with reference to the...

    £85

  3. HALL, Major Herbert Byng.

    The Adventures of a Bric-a-Brac Hunter …

    London: Tinsley Brothers … 1868.

    First edition of a charming travel guide to Europe for the dilletante porcelain collector; some of the sketches that make up the book first appeared in the Belgravia magazine.

    £275

  4. [FIELDING, Sarah.] 

    The adventures of David Simple: containing an account of his travels through the cities of London and Westminster,...

    London, printed for A. Millar, 1744. 

    First edition, very fine.  The first and most popular novel of Sarah, the sister of Henry Fielding, who was to provide a preface and a few revisions to the second edition. 

    £1500

  5. [SMOLLETT, Tobias].

    The Adventures of Roderick Random … in two Volumes … The second Edition.

    London: Printed for J. Osborn … 1748.

    Second edition, with ‘major imaginative changes’, and frontispieces which appear here for the first time. Even though there were only a few weeks between the first and second editions, Smollett found time to make a number of significant corrections in the text, on average about one substantive change...

    £500

  6. BROUGHAM, Henry Lord.

    Albert Lunel. A Novel ... In three Volumes ...

    London: Charles H. Clarke ... [1872].

    First edition, Sadleir’s ‘really scarce’ fourth state, with (instead of the half-titles) the following notice: ‘“Albert Lunel” was written by the late Lord Brougham in the years Eighteen Hundred and Forty-four, but for private reasons of his Lordship’s, was not published. London, March...

    £450

  7. [FRIENDSHIP ALBUM.]

    Album of poetry and prose with watercolour illustrations.

    [London, c. 1824–1832.]

    An attractive nineteenth-century album collecting poems (many of Scottish, Irish, and Nonconformist interest) and hymns, along with several charming drawings in pencil and ink, with ties to several London families.

    £1200

  8. LINDSETH, Jon A., and Alan TANNENBAUM, eds.

    Alice in a World of Wonderlands: the Translations of Lewis Carroll’s Masterpiece.

    Newcastle, DE, Oak Knoll Press, 2015.

    This is the most extensive analysis ever done of translations of any single English language novel. On 4 October 1866 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson/Lewis Carroll wrote to his publisher Macmillan stating "Friends here [in Oxford] seem to think that the book is untranslatable." But his friends were wrong, as...

    £199

  9. MOLAJONI, Bartolomeo. 

    Alla neogama donzella Marianna Molajoni negli Sforza, Bartolomeo Molajoni germano dirigge il seguente sonetto...

    Viterbo, brothers Poggiarelli, 1811. 

    Seemingly unrecorded sonnet addressed to the newlywed Marianna Molajoni by her brother Bartolomeo and dedicated to the sottoprefetto of Viterbo, Giulio Zelli Pazzaglia. 

    £275

  10. [NAPOLEONIC ITALY.] 

    Alla società delle gentilissime signore di Moncalieri dilettanti del giuoco del tavolazzo. Sonetto bernesco-morale...

    Turin, Giacomo Fea, 1799.

    An unrecorded sonnet addressed to the Society of the Gentlewomen of Moncalieri, a town just south of Turin whose castle is one of the Savoy Residences, and in particular to the ‘Abbess’ of the society, by the corps of soldiers stationed in the town shortly after the Battle of Marengo.

    £575

  11. ALDINGTON, Richard.

    All Men are Enemies, a Romance.

    London, Chatto & Windus, 1933.

    First trade edition, inscribed ‘For D. G. Bridson from Richard Aldington / March. 1933’. Bridson’s review in The New English Weekly, 23 March 1933, was uncharacteristically without reservation in its enthusiasm: ‘one of the finest novels written lately … In actual reading [rather...

    £200

  12. LEWIS, Wyndham.

    America, I Presume.

    New York, Howell, Soskins & Co., [1940].

    First edition, Lewis’s first impressions of America after his abrupt departure thence in September 1939. He was to remain in North America for the duration of World War WII.

    £75

  13. [CASTILLO Y SORIANO, José del.]

    Amor á la creacion. Poesia dedicada á la Sociedad Madrileña Protectora de los Animales y de...

    Madrid, Sociedad de Tipógrafos, 1879.

    Very rare survival: a poem in twenty-four stanzas each of five lines devoted to the celebration of animals and plants, dedicated to the Madrid Society for the protection of nature, and publicly read by the actress Carolina Civili on the occasion of the May 1879 exhibition of plants and birds....

    £375

  14. MARLOWE, Christopher, and George CHAPMAN.

    The amorous Poem entitled Hero and Leander … Together with two Lyrics by Chr....

    London, [Chiswick Press] for the Golden Hours Press, 1933 [and sold by Hollis & Carter].

    No. 104a – from the balance of the original edition of 200, unsold copies of which were taken over by Hollis & Carter and retailed ‘in a less elaborate binding’, numbered from 1a.

    £350

  15. SCHÜBLER, Johann Jakob.

    Amor, vehementer quidem flagrans; artificiose tamen celatus, de Pantalonis custodiaque triumphans, intentato...

    Augsburg, Johann Michael Probst, [c. 1770?].

    Rare series of twelve engravings inspired by the Italian commedia dell’arte, one of the most beautiful books of the German Rococo, engraved by Johann Balthasar Probst after original illustrations by the architectural painter, sculptor, and mathematician Johann Jakob Schübler.

    £7500

  16. JACOMB, Charles Ernest.

    And a new earth. A romance.

    London, George Routledge & Sons, 1926.

    First edition. A post-apocalyptic fantasy novel relating the history of a utopian island that survived a ‘second flood’ in 1958, which destroyed the world’s civilization and reduced the human population to just 10,000. The island was re-discovered by the New World Fleet in 2832, 872 years after...

    £75

  17. [BUNBURY, Henry William.] ‘GAMBADO, Geoffrey’.

    Annals of Horsemanship, containing Accounts of accidental Experiments and experimental...

    London, W. Nicholson for W. Baynes, 1808.

    Third edition of Bunbury’s satirical work with humorous etchings. First published in 1791 and often presented as a continuation of Bunbury’s Academy for grown Horsemen (published in 1784 also under the name Gambado), the Annals of Horsemanship is a parody of Arthur Young’s...

    £475

  18. BUQUOY, Georg Franz August de Longueval, Freiherr von Vaux, Graf von.

    Anregungen für philosophisch-wissenschaftliche Forschung...

    Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel, 1825.

    First edition, rare, of a comprehensive discussion by the author of his personal philosophy, with c. 50 pages of his poetry thrown in at the end for good measure. Samuel Hahnemann refers to the work in Die chronischen Krankheiten (1828–30), calling Buquoy a ‘deep-thinking, many-sided scholar and...

    £950

  19. LEWIS, Wyndham.

    An Anthology of his Prose. Edited with an introduction by E.W.F. Tomlin.

    London, Methuen & Co Ltd., [1969].

    First edition. ‘The Sea-Mists of Winter’, Lewis’s famous article on the approach of blindness, appears in this Anthology for the first time in book form – the original article from The Listener is also laid in. Bridson has noted in pencil where the book text differs (with several...

    £150

  20. [WEDDING POETRY.]

    Applausi alli felicissimi sponsali dell’illustrissimo Sig. Cavaliere Deifebo Perini Brancadori, con l’illustrissima...

    Siena, Stamperia del Pubblico, 1699.

    Seemingly unrecorded collection of sonnets written to mark the marriage of two Sienese nobles, Deifebo Perini Brancadori and Ottavia Orlandini. The fourteen sonnets, whose authorship remains unknown, take inspiration from the family name of the groom and aspects of the arms of both families, with...

    £350