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.
MANUEL CONSOLATEUR DES COCUS. Code pacifique des ménages, ouvrage éminemment uBle; suivi 1. D’un...
A Cornopolis, chez tous les marchands de nouveautés. Imprimerie de l’Encorné. [c. 1837].
First edition, very rare, of this satirical defence and exploration of cuckoldry in European and global culture, written by the Lille printer and bookseller Simon-François Blocquel (1780–1863) under one of his many pseudonyms.
Obviously not a translation from the English, the Manuel is designed...
BLOUNT, Sir Thomas Pope.
Essays on several Subjects …
London, Printed for Richard Bently … 1692.
Second edition of seven essays of ‘considerable merit [that] display the easy scepticism and solid good sense and learning of the author to good advantage’ (Pforzheimer). They deal with self-interest; the mischief of learning; education; respect for antiquity; the virtues of modern men; passion;...
Letters and Tracts on the Choice of Company and other Subjects. The second Edition.
London: Printed for J. Whiston and B. White … and R. and J. Dodsley … 1762.
Second edition; a reissue of the sheets of the first edition with a cancel title-page and advertisement replacing the original title leaf A1. As well as the title tract, the volume includes essays ‘On Intemperance in Eating’, ‘On Intemperance in Drinking’, ‘On Pleasure’ and ‘On Public Worship’,...
Habes Nicholai Bonetti viri p[er]spicacissimi quattuor volumina: Metaphysicam videl[icet] naturale[m] phylosophia[m]...
Venice, Boneto Locatello for the heirs of Ottaviano Scoto, 1505.
First collected edition of the works of the French Franciscan Friar Nicolas Bonet (c. 1280–1343), owned and annotated by the Italian historian, biographer, and physician Paolo Giovio (1486–1552).
[BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.]
La Liturgie. C’est a dire, le formulaire des Prieres publiques, de l’Administrations des Sacreman;...
A Londres, pour Jean Dunmore & Octavien Pulleyn le Jeune … 1667.
First edition of this translation, printed for the use of ‘toutes les Eglisses Paroissiales & dans les Chapelles de Isles de Jersey, Guernsey, & autres Isles adjacentes’, as well as for the French congregation at the Savoy in London.
A Letter to the People of Scotland, on the alarming Attempt to infringe the Articles of Union, and introduce a...
London: Printed for Charles Dilly … 1785.
First edition of Boswell’s second Letter to the People of Scotland, written to oppose a bill in Parliament for reducing the number of the Lords of Session from fifteen to ten. Boswell, who believed that this attack on the highest court in Scotland for civil causes was a direct infringement of the Articles...
BRANTÔME, Pierre de Bourdeilles, Seigneur de.
Spanish Rhodomontades. As also historical and ocular proofs of a true heroism and...
London, J. Chrichley (i.e. Critchley), 1741.
First edition in English, with the Rhodomontades printed in the original Spanish. This collection of braggadocio boastings, drawn from the dramatic dialogue of Spanish practitioners of the Commedia dell'Arte, was first published in French in 1740.
BRASSICANUS, Joannes Alexander.
Hymnus in Apollinem, studiorum pariter ac studiosorum omnium exemplar, ordine conscriptus alphabetico...
Strasbourg, Johann [I] Knoblauch, 1523.
First and only edition, rare, of this close analysis of a Greek hymn to Apollo, by Johannes Alexander Brassicanus (1500–1539), professor, precocious poet, and friend of Erasmus.
List of Missing English Theological and Devotional Books.
Mimeographed typescript of books missing after the losses suffered by the British Museum Library during the Second World War. This is one of several lists of books destroyed, produced both as a record and as a tool for acquiring replacement copies – this copy appears to have been used for that...
Songs and other Poems … The second Edition corrected and enlarged.
London, Printed for Henry Brome … 1664.
Second edition, adding much new material including the poems ‘To his friend Thomas Stanley Esq. on his Odes’, ‘Cromwell’s Panegyrick’, and the salacious ‘Record in Rhyme’; eight songs; and some new commendatory verses in addition to the one by Isaak Walton. Also new is a commendatory letter...
BROUGHAM, Henry Lord.
Albert Lunel. A Novel ... In three Volumes ...
London: Charles H. Clarke ... .
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...
BROWN, Arthur Henry (1830-1926), composer and church organist.
Autograph manuscript notebook mainly of Christmas carols compiled...
For all but five years of his long career Brown was organist at churches in Brentwood, Essex, and at Sir Anthony Browne’s School in the town. He was a fertile composer of more than 800 pieces of church music, including the hymn tunes ‘Ingatestone’, ‘Purleigh’, ‘Saffron Walden’, and ‘Tiltey...
BROWNING, Elizabeth Barrett.
Poems before Congress …
London: Chapman and Hall … 1860.
First edition of a slender collection of seven poems on the cause of Italian independence, and one attacking slavery in the United States (‘A Curse for a Nation’). The Congress of the title had been planned for Paris in January 1860, but Austria withdrew on learning that Napoleon III meant to use...
[BROWN, Thomas, M.D.].
The Bower of Spring, with other Poems … Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co. and Longman,...
Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co. and Longman, Hurst Rees, Orme and Brown, London. 1817
First edition. Brown was professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh and a prolific versifier (‘among the few Classical Writers of this scribbling generation’ according to the Edinburgh Review – for which Brown was a regular contributor).
[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...
[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...
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...
[BURNEY, Frances, Madame D’ARBLAY].
Cecilia, or Memoirs of an Heiress. By the Author of Evelina. The third Edition ...
London: Printed for T. Payne and Son ... and T. Cadell ... 1783.
Third edition, published in March 1783. This is one of only a small number of novels in the library purchased by Mary Sandys before her marriage to Arthur Hill in 1786.
[BURY, Lady Charlotte].
The Exclusives. In three Volumes ...
London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley ... 1830.
First edition of a society novel written after the enormous success of Marianne Spencer Stanhope’s Almack’s (1826), a roman à clef centred on the fashionable assembly rooms in St. James’s. In The Exclusives Lady Tilney plans a new coterie as Almack’s is in decline (‘that...
Some Account of the Character of the late Right Honourable Henry Bilson Legge.
London: Printed for J. Almon … 1764.
First edition. Henry Bilson Legge (1708-1764), three times chancellor of the exchequer between 1754 and 1761, attracted both respect and censure. To Pitt, he was ‘the child, and deservedly the favourite child, of the Whigs’. Horace Walpole, on the other hand, thought him a man ‘of a creeping, underhand...