English Literature

Contact Donovan Rees or Ted Hofmann

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. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    Maud, and other Poems …

    London: Edward Moxon … 1855.

    First edition, containing the first appearance in book form of ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. The poem was originally printed in The Examiner in December 1854.

    £150

  2. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    Ballads and other Poems.

    London: C. Kegan Paul & Co. … 1880.

    First edition. Wise, Tennyson 138; Tinker 2093.

    £75

  3. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    The Cup and the Falcon.

    London: Macmillan and Co. 1884.

    First published edition, preceded by a ‘trial’ edition of 1882 recorded by Wise as surviving in one known copy – in his own collection. The Cup was first performed in 1881 with Sir Henry Irving and Ellen Terry. Wise, Tennyson 146; Tinker 2096.

    £75

  4. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    Locksley Hall Sixty Years after etc.

    London: Macmillan and Co. … 1886.

    First edition. Wise, Tennyson 156; Tinker 2098.

    £60

  5. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    The Death of Œnone, Akbar’s Dream, and other Poems.

    London: Macmillan and Co. … 1892.

    First edition, the issue on ordinary paper. Wise, Tennyson 165; Tinker 2102.

    £50

  6. TENNYSON, Alfred Lord.

    The Princess: a Medley … Fourth edition.

    London: Edward Moxon … 1851.

    Fourth edition, with ‘changes of very considerable importance’ (Wise), written when Tennyson was honeymooning with the Marshalls in 1850. The Princess (first 1847) is the only volume of poetry that Tennyson was to publish in the later 1840s, while finishing In Memoriam (1850). The poem...

    £275

  7. TENNYSON, Arthur, Lord.

    Enoch Arden, etc.

    London: Edward Moxon & Co. … 1864.

    First edition, the issue with the earliest (August) state of Moxon’s inserted 8-page catalogue. Wise, Tennyson 107; Tinker 2083.

    £100

  8. [THE OLD MAID.]

    Six lithograph plates with verses below: ‘When I was a girl of eighteen years old …’.

    c. 1835?

    Apparently unrecorded – an attractive illustrated edition of a popular slip-ballad, here reduced to 8 verses of the original 13.

    £750

  9. THOMAS, Dylan, and Sir Peter Blake, illustrator.

    Under Milk Wood: A Play for Voices.

    London: Apple Litho (Bristol) Ltd. for Enitharmon Editions and Queen Anne Press, 2013.

    De Luxe edition, number 61 of 100 copies with a signed print by Blake. This finely-produced edition was published to mark the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth and celebrates the culmination of over twenty-five years of work by Peter Blake, one of the founding fathers of British Pop Art. The...

    £975

  10. [THOMPSON, Thomas].

    The genuine tryal of Dr. Nosmoth, a physician in Pekin; for the murder of the Mandarine Tonwin…

    London, Mary Cooper, 1746.

    First edition, a satire, putting Dr. Nosmoth, aka Thomas Thompson, on trial for causing the death of ‘Mandarine Tonwin’, aka Thomas Winnington, the Paymaster of the Forces. The somewhat shady circumstances surrounding the death soon attracted the attentions of Society gossip, including being discussed...

    £350

  11. THOMSON, James.

    Essays and Phantasies …

    London: Reeves and Turner … 1881.

    First edition of a volume of essays by the author of The City of Dreadful Night. Most are probably reprinted from the National Reformer, the Secularist, or Cope’s Tobacco Plant, to which ‘the laureate of pessimism’ was a regular contributor.

    £150

  12. THORNBURY, George Walter.

    Art and Nature at Home and Abroad …

    London: Hurst and Blackett, Publishers, Successors to Henry Colburn … 1856.

    First edition: an early collection of essays by Thornbury (1828-1876), a prolific (and famously cacographic) writer who is closely associated with Dickens for his work on Household Words and All the Year Round (‘one of Charles Dickens’s most valuable contributors’; Dickens, Letters,...

    £450

  13. THUCYDIDES.

    ΘΟΥΚΥΔΙΔΗΣ. THVCYDIDES.

    (Colophon:) Venice, Aldus, May 1502.

    A handsome copy of the first edition of the Greek text of Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War, printed by the great Aldus Manutius, with an interesting provenance.

    £25000

  14. TOMKINS, John, John FIELD and John BELL.

    Piety Promoted, ou, la Pieté promuë, ou avancée: contenant un Recueil de derniéres...

    A Londres: se vend chez la Veuve Hinde … 1770.

    First edition, the first French translation of Piety Promoted, a compilation of the ‘dying words’ of notable Quakers, many from North America, originally published in three parts by John Tomkins (1701-6; ‘the first and a very influential example of an important Quaker form’, Oxford...

    £250

  15. TOMPSON, John, editor.

    English Miscellanies consisting of various Pieces of Divinity, Morals, Politicks, Philosophy and History;...

    Gottingen by Abram. Vandenhoeck, Printer and Bookseller to the University 1746.

    Second edition, revised, of John Tompson’s important English Miscellanies, expanded to almost twice the size of the first edition, including up-to-date content published since 1737.

    £800

  16. TOOKE, John Horne.

    Two pairs of portraits, presented to all the unbiassed electors of Great-Britain, and especially the electors...

    London, J. Johnson and J. Stockdale, 1788.

    First edition of this celebrated comparison of two generations of Pitts and Foxes, by the clergyman and political radical John Horne Tooke. Although one might have thought him more naturally a Foxite, Tooke never got on with Fox, and here lays out, side by side, the ways in which Pitt father and son...

    £250

  17. [TOPSELL, Edward, and PLINY the Elder.] BYRNE, M. St Clare (editor).

    The Elizabethan Zoo: A Book of Beasts, both...

    Cambridge, W. Lewis at the University Press, for London, Frederick Etchells & Hugh MacDonald, 1926.

    Limited edition, numbered 304 of 525 copies. ‘This is not a “child’s book of bad beasts”: it is composed of selections from the most serious and substantial books of zoology that were available for educated Englishmen in Shakespeare’s day. Designed originally to edify, to lead men to...

    £75

  18. [TORBUCK, John].

    A Collection of Welsh Travels and Memoirs of Wales. Containing I. The Briton Describ’d, or a Journey thro’...

    London: Printed for and sold by J. Torbuck … 1738.

    First edition of this compilation of whimsical works about Wales, reissued and published as though under the auspices of Swift.

    £1100

  19. [TOWER OF LONDON.]

    View of the awful conflagration at the Tower of London, October 31st 1841, and immense loss of national property.

    London, J. Fairburn, [1841].

    An uncommon broadside, with a striking hand-coloured woodcut, recording the devastating fire which consumed the Grand Storehouse at the Tower of London in October 1841, an event also sketched in watercolour by J.M.W. Turner.

    £600

  20. TRUBETZKOY, Nikolai Sergeevich.

    Das morphonologische System der russischen Sprache.

    Prague, Jednota československých matematiků a fysiků, 1934.

    First edition, published as the second part of Description phonologique du russe moderne; the first part, Roman Jakobson’s ‘Phonologie général du mot’, was published later.

    £350