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. PIEROTTI, A. 

    Il cervello e la difesa delle donne sestine giocose ... precedute da indirizzo, e dedica in vario metro. 

    Florence, N. Fabbrini, 1842. 

    First and only edition, very rare, of this misogynistic poem by the Florentine poet Pierotti, in which he pretends to explore the female brain with reference to Galen, accusing women of, for example, greed, theft, cunning, vanity, and irascibility.  The second part is a somewhat patronising defense...


  2. PINDAR. 

    Carmina, ex editione Chr. Gottl. Heyne. 

    Oxford, N. Bliss for M. Bliss and R. Bliss [– and London, for F. & C. Rivington, J. Payne & J. Mackinlay, W.H. Lunn, Longman, Hurst,...

    An attractive Oxford-printed pocket edition of Pindar’s Odes, as edited by Christian Gottlob Heyne. 


  3. PINDAR.

    Ολγμπια Νεμεα Πγθια Ισθμια … Olympia, Nemea, Pythia, Isthmia. Una cum Latina omnium versione carmine...

    Oxford, E Teatro Sheldoniano, 1698 … London, apud. Sam. Smith & Benj. Walford.

    First edition thus, the variant with the title-page dated 1698 rather than 1697. The Greek text was edited by Richard West and Robert Welsted, and the chronology of the Olympiads provided by the Bishop of Lichfield. 


  4. PIOZZI, Hester Lynch.

    British Synonymy; or, an Attempt at regulating the Choice of Words in familiar Conversation. Inscribed, with...

    London: Printed for G. G. and J. Robinson … 1794.

    First edition of a fascinating collection of short essays on synonyms, intended as a help to her husband and his foreign friends. Mrs. Piozzi began work on her Synonymy in early 1792, and by August was hard at the grindstone: ‘ten pages o’ Day copying, besides a little Composition now and...


  5. PLANAS, D. Eusebio.

    Historia de una mujer. Album de cincuenta cromos.

    Barcelona, Juan Aleu y Fugarull, 1880.

    First edition. A chronicle in pictures of the life of a beautiful modern woman, and her adventures and misadventures with men: in front of fashionable Madrid shop-fronts, in her boudoir, on the balcony, on the stage and in the dressing-room, at balls and dinner parties, in a train, the Alps, the 1878...


  6. PLAUTUS. 

    M. Accius Plautus ex fide, atque auctoritate complurium librorum manuscriptorum opera Dionys. Lambini Monstroliensis...

    Paris, Jean Le Blanc for Jean Macé, 1577 [– October 1576].

    Reissue of the 1576 first edition of the plays of Plautus edited by the great French classical scholar Denis Lambin (1520–1572) and completed after his death by the Parisian professor of Greek, Jacques Hélie (d. 1590). 


  7. PLINY the Younger.

    Epistolarum libri X & panegyricus.

    Leiden, [Bonaventure & Abraham] Elzevir, 1640.

    First Elzevir edition, handsomely bound for the Irish politician Thomas Wogan Browne.



    The Lives of the noble Grecians and Romanes, compared together by that grave learned Philosopher and Historiographer,...

    Imprinted at London by Richard Field for Bonham Norton, 1595.

    Second edition of North’s celebrated translation of Plutarch, first published in 1579, which has long been recognized as a major source for Shakespeare, providing not only the historical framework for Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus, but ‘long...



    from the Time of Oliver Cromwell, to the Abdication of K. James the Second. Written by the greatest...

    Printed in the Year 1702

    Fourth edition of this popular collection of witty verse and political satire, with the second edition of State-Poems continued (1697). Much of the poetry collected here was initially circulated in manuscript because of its political subject matter (which includes the Dutch wars, the Popish Plot, and...


  10. [POETRY.] 

    ‘Trattato della [poesia Toscana]’. 

    [Asti?, 1780-1782.] 

    A manuscript treatise on the method of composing poetry in Italian, with numerous examples from renowned authors and eight apparently unpublished poems about horse-racing, with references to Arabian, Sardinian, English, and African horses, as well as to a firework display. 


  11. POPE, Alexander.

    The Rape of the Lock. An heroi-comical Poem. In five Canto’s … The second Edition.

    London: Printed for Bernard Lintott ... 1714

    Second edition of the final text, reset throughout and now with a headpiece to each canto. Griffith 34; Foxon P943. [Bound with:]


  12. [POPE, Alexander.] 

    The New Dunciad: As it was found in the Year MDCCXLI. With the Illustrations of Scriblerus and Notes Variorum.

    London, T. Cooper, 1742.

    Second edition (although not stated on title), published within a week of the first edition, with slight revisions to both poem and notes. A reissue in the same year with a cancel title-page acknowledges this printing as the second edition.


  13. [POPE, Alexander].

    The New Dunciad: as it was Found in the Year 1741. With the Illustrations of Scriblerus, and Notes Variorum.

    London: Printed for T. Cooper ... 1742.

    First edition. This is the first printing of Book IV of the Dunciad. Having carried satire to the brink of prosecution, Pope retired into four years of silence, broken in 1742. A reference to Colley Cibber in line 316 inaugurated Pope’s last literary quarrel, and led to the revision of the...


  14. [POPE, Alexander.]

    Sober Advice from Horace, to the young Gentleman about Town, As deliver’d in his second Sermon. Imitated in...

    London: Printed for T. Boreman … and sold by the Booksellers of London and Westminster, [1734].

    First editions of Pope’s Sober Advice from Horace and Universal Prayer.


  15. POPE, Alexander. 

    An Essay on Man, in four Epistles to Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke … 

    London: Printed for Robert Jennings … by James Moyes … 1819. 

    A very fine edition, one of two hundred copies according to Lowndes.  The four plates in the text were engraved for a forthcoming parallel-text English–Portuguese edition published by Charles Whittington – the prints here being proofs before lettering.  Their inclusion along with ‘the...


  16. POPE, Alexander. 

    The Works …  Vol. I [–VI].  With explanatory Notes and Additions never before printed. 

    London, Printed for B. Lintot, 1736 [Vol. II. Printed for L. Gilliver 1735; Vol. III. Printed for H. Lintot, 1736; Vol. IV. Printed...

    A fine set of the bibliographically complicated small octavo Works, including the scarce supplementary Vol II. Part II. 


  17. POPE, [Alexander]. 

    Of the Use of Riches, an Epistle to the Right Honorable Allen Lord Bathurst. 

    London, J. Wright for Lawton Gilliver, 1732. 

    First edition, first issue, with p. 13 uncorrected and the erratum on p. 20. 


  18. POPE, Alexander.

    Windsor-Forest. To the Right Honourable George Lord Lansdown …

    London: Printed for Bernard Lintott … 1713.

    First edition of Pope’s second separately published poem, preceded by An Essay on Criticism in 1711. Written in the tradition that young poets begin with pastoral verse, Windsor-Forest, with its epigraph from Virgil’s Eclogues, was the poem that first won Swift’s regard and...


  19. POPE, Alexander.

    The first Satire of the second Book of Horace, imitated in a Dialogue between Alexander Pope, of Twickenham …...

    London: Printed by L. G. and sold by A. Dodd … E. Nutt … and by the Booksellers of London and Westminster. 1733.

    First edition, second impression, of the first of Pope’s Horatian imitations, written from his sickbed in response to the controversy over his Epistle to Burlington.


  20. POPE, Alexander.

    Of false Taste. An Epistle to the right honourable Richard Earl of Burlington. Occasion’d by his publishing...

    London: Printed for L. Gilliver … 1731 [1732].

    1. Third edition of Of false Taste, published on 15 January 1732, adding Pope’s long letter to Burlington in reply to ‘the clamour rais’d about this epistle’. This is the first of three issues, with the misprint ‘Cielings’ on p. 11. Griffith 267; Foxon P912.