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. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    A Welcome …

    London: Edward Moxon & Co. … 1863.

    Second edition, distinguished from the first by the hollow diamond at the centre of the French rule beneath the title.

    £40

  2. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

    Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington… London: Edward Moxon …1852.

    TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

    First edition. Wellington died at Walmer Castle on 14 September, and Tennyson’s ode was published on 18 November, the day of the funeral. One of his earliest Laureate poems, it was, of course, a patriotic piece, but also, as a Horatian ode in English, a notable technical achievement. Tennyson was to...

    £100

  3. TENNYSON, Alfred Tennyson, Lord

    In Memoriam. 

    London: Edward Moxon … 1850.

    First edition, first issue, with the misprints on page 2 (‘the sullen tree’ for ‘thee sullen tree’) and page 198 (‘baseness’ for ‘bareness’). 

    £950

  4. 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

  5. THACKERAY, William Makepeace. 

    The Virginians, a tale of the last century. 

    London, Bradbury & Evans, November 1857 [– October 1859].

    First edition in the original monthly parts of Thackeray’s American sequel to Henry Esmond

    £600

  6. THACKERAY, William Makepeace. 

    Vanity Fair: A novel without a hero … with illustrations on steel and wood by the author. 

    London, Bradbury & Evans, 1848. 

    First edition in book form, with the traditional first-state characteristics, including: no street address in the imprint on the verso of the title-page; dedication leaf in small type with last line measuring 2⅛”; heading on page [1] in shaded rustic type; woodcut of the Marquis of Steyne...

    £1500

  7. TO THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND,

    who are in Place to do Justice, and to break the Bonds of the oppressed. A Narrative of the cruel,...

    London, Printed for Thomas Simmons …, 1659.

    First edition, rare, a list of Quaker victims of persecution in Ireland with details of their sufferings. The pamphlet was published and undersigned by a group of the victims including the country’s reputed first Quaker, William Edmondson, and Thomas Holme, who went on to publish A Brief...

    £300

  8. 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

  9. [THOMPSON, Thomas].

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

    London, for 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...

    £175

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

    £300

  13. [TREATIES.]

    Volume of tracts on European treaties of peace and alliance.

    Vienna and Amsterdam, 1725-1731.

    A collection of scarce texts relating to the Peace of Vienna (1725) and subsequent treaties of Hanover (1725), Paris (1727), Seville (1729), and Vienna (1731), with contemporary manuscript additions in Italian and French clearly composed by someone in diplomatic service. The collection eloquently...

    £1750

  14. TRIMMER, Mrs.

    [Sarah]. An Explanation of the Office for the public Baptism of Infants; and of the Order for the Confirmation of...

    London: Printed for T. Longman, and G. G. J. and J. Robinson … and J. Johnson … 1791

    First edition, dedicated with the Queen’s permission to the royal princess, Princess Mary. According to the Analytical Review there were two versions of his work with the same imprint, this one (not in ESTC), which sold for 1 s., and one with added catechistical questions for teachers (BL. Bodley,...

    £650

  15. TURNER, Sharon.

    The sacred history of the world, as displayed in the creation and subsequent events to the deluge. Attempted to...

    London, Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman, 1832 [– 1834; – 1837].

    First edition, each volume with a presentation letter from the author (dated 1 March 1832, 12 December 1834, and 27 March 1837 respectively) to the classical scholar Thomas Gaisford.

    £500

  16. [TWISS, Horace].

    Posthumous Parodies and other Pieces, composed by several of our most celebrated Poets, but not published in any...

    London: Printed for John Miller. 1814.

    First edition. Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden, Pope and Johnson are among the poets parodied.

    £150

  17. TYRE, William, Archbishop of, and Giuseppe OROLOGGI (translator).

    Historia della guerra sacra di Gierusalemme,...

    Venice, Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1562.

    First Italian edition of William of Tyre’s (1130–1186) important account of the first two crusades and of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, with the addition of a seventeenth-century manuscript detailing a uniquely Italian rendition of the tale of the Wandering Jew.

    £2800

  18. [UNGER, Salomo Gottlob.]

    Geschichte des Oesterreich-Russischen und Türkischen Krieges, in den Jahren von 1787. bis 1792. Nebst...

    Leipzig, Wilhelm Gottlob Sommer, 1792.

    First and only edition, extremely rare, of this account of the Austro-Turkish War of 1788-1791, and of the concurrent Russo-Turkish war of 1787-92. It includes the full texts of the Treaty of Sistova of 4 August 1791 and of a separate convention attached to it, in both French and German. While...

    £1250

  19. URCEO, Antonio [or Codro]. 

    Hoc Codri volumine haec continentur.  Orationes, seu sermones ut ipse appellabat.  Epistolae. ...

    Bologna, Giovanni Antonio Benedetti, 7 March 1502. 

    First edition of a quintessential piece of Italian humanism, annotated by a sixteenth-century reader particularly interested in the philology of the texts. 

    £3000

  20. VALERIUS FLACCUS, Gaius. 

    Argonauticon … libri VIII, a Ludovico Carrione Brugensi locis prope innumerabilibus emendati, ejusdem...

    Antwerp, Christopher Plantin, [15 July] 1565. 

    First edition, a very attractive copy, of Louis Carrio’s precocious – and perhaps overconfident – recension of the first-century Argonautica of Valerius Flaccus. 

    £1250