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. [STRASBOURG.]

    Souscription patriotique de la part du beau-sexe de Strasbourg.

    [S.l., s.n., 1789?.]

    Rare first edition of this entertaining satirical piece on women's clothing, published in the aftermath of the French Revolution. After complaining that the recent craze for ‘gauze, muslin, linen and feathers’ had brought the country to its knees, the text describes how the patriotic women...

    £165

  2. STRYPE, John.

    The Life of the learned Sir John Cheke, Kt., first Instructer, afterwards Secretary of State, to King Edward VI.,...

    London, John Wyat, 1705.

    First edition of Strype’s biography of the courtier and classicist Sir John Cheke, inaugural Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge.

    £450

  3. SULIVAN, Richard Joseph.

    Philosophical Rhapsodies. Fragments of Akbur of Betlis. Containing Reflections on the Laws, Manners, Customs...

    London: Printed for T. Becket … Bookseller to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and their Royal Highnesses the Princes. 1784-5.

    First edition of this eccentric travel-inspired treatise drawing upon the author’s experience in India and his travels in Europe. The prefatory ‘advertisement’ establishes the fiction that ‘the following fragments were written by a native of Assyria [Akbur], who … was removed to the continent...

    £950

  4. [SURTEES, Robert Smith,] and John LEECH (illustrator).

    Handley Cross series.

    London, Bradbury, Agnew, & Co., 1899-1900.

    Limited ‘Master of Foxhounds’ edition, finely printed at the Whitefriars Press. Having published the first editions of several of Surtees’s sporting novels, Bradbury, Agnew, & Co. gathered and reprinted the six most successful as the ‘Handley Cross series’ as luxury sets. Publisher’s...

    £1200

  5. [SWEDENBORG, Emanuel.] 

    De nova Hierosolyma et ejus Doctrina Coelesti: ex Auditis e Coelo.  Quibus praemittitur aliquid de Novo...

    London, [John Lewis,] 1758. 

    First edition of Swedenborg’s ‘New Jerusalem’, in which he describes a new church based on faith, charity, and the unification of existing protestant churches. 

    £975

  6. [SWIFT, Jonathan].

    Miscellanies in Prose and Verse.

    London: Printed for John Morphew ... 1711.

    First edition, ordinary paper issue, the very rare first state, with G6-7 preserved (though slashed for cancellation); the cancellans was printed on A8, not here present.

    £1250

  7. SWIFT, Jonathan.

    The Works of J. S, D. D, D. S. P. D. in four Volumes … In this Edition are great Alterations and Additions;...

    Dublin: Printed by and for George Faulkner, Printer and Bookseller … 1735.

    First 12mo. edition of the first collected Works of Swift, preceded by octavo edition earlier in the year. Here the chronological arrangement in volumes I and II has been altered and one piece, ‘Prometheus’ (a later insertion), moved from volume IV to its correct place in volume II.

    £1250

  8. [SWIFT, Jonathan.]

    On Poetry: a Rapsody.

    Printed at Dublin, and Re-printed at London: and sold by J. Huggonson ... and at the Booksellers and Pamphlet-shops ... 1733.

    First edition. On Poetry, one of Swift’s most important productions in verse, was early recognized as a masterpiece and would have achieved considerable favour for Swift at court had not Lord Hervey ‘undeceived Q[ueen] C[aroline] and taken some pains to teach her the use and power of...

    £750

  9. SWIFT, Jonathan. 

    A Tale of a Tub … to which is added, an Account of a Battle between the antient and modern Books in St. James’s...

    London, C. Bathurst, 1751. 

    A scarce later edition of Swift’s classic satires on corruption in religion and learning, as exemplified in the conduct of Peter (Roman Catholicism), Martin (Luther), and Jack (Calvin) in the Tale of the Tub, and the spirited fight over the highest peak of Parnassus in the Battel of...

    £175

  10. [SWIFT, Jonathan.]

    The Hibernian Patriot: being a Collection of the Drapier’s Letters to the People of Ireland, concerning Mr....

    Printed at Dublin. London: Reprinted and sold by A. Moor ... 1730.

    First London collected edition of the Drapier’s Letters, preceded by the Dublin edition of 1725 (entitled Fraud Detected).

    £850

  11. SWIFT, Jonathan (attr.).

    The Life and genuine Character of Doctor Swift. Written by Himself.

    London: Printed for J. Roberts … and sold at the Pamphlet Shops … 1733.

    First edition. Authorship of this fine poem has long been debated. It was explicitly repudiated by Swift himself, though it has much in common with Verses on the Death of Doctor Swift and Faulkner printed it as genuine in 1746.

    £1000

  12. SWINBURNE, Algernon Charles.

    Ode on the Proclamation of the French Republic, September 4th, 1870 ...

    London: F. S. Ellis ... 1870.

    First edition. On 4 Septemeber 1879, two days after the final capitulation of the French army at Sedan and the surrender of Napoleon III to the King of Prussia, the republican deputies at Paris proclaimed the end of the imperial dynasty and the foundation of the provisional government that was to become...

    £100

  13. TACITUS. 

    C. Cornelius Tacitus, cum optimis exemplaribus collatus. 

    Amsterdam, Daniel Elzevir, 1678. 

    A remarkably fresh set of the third and final Elzevir edition of this format, reprinted from the edition of 1665. 

    £275

  14. [TALFOURD, Thomas Noon].

    Ion; a Tragedy, in five Acts. To which are added a few Sonnets. Second Edition.

    London: Printed by A. J. Valpy ... for private Circulation. Not published. [1835]

    Second private edition of Talfourd’s blank verse tragedy, adding a small group of eight sonnets not in the first edition (also privately printed, 1835), and with a new preface: ‘Having exhausted the small impression which was originally printed of Ion, and finding that there are yet friends in whose...

    £250

  15. TEMPLE, Sir William.

    An Introduction to the History of England …

    London, Printed for Richard Simpson … and Ralph Simpson … 1695

    First edition. Newly arrived in England from Trinity College, Dublin, Swift in 1689 entered upon a ten-year period as secretary to Sir William Temple at Moor Park near Farnham in Surrey. ‘Partly thanks to Swift’s support several of Temple’s important works were published in the 1690s, notably the...

    £450

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    Ballads and other Poems.

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

    First edition. Wise, Tennyson 138; Tinker 2093.

    £75

  19. 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

  20. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    Locksley Hall Sixty Years after etc.

    London: Macmillan and Co. … 1886.

    First edition. Wise, Tennyson 156; Tinker 2098.

    £60