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. BEUTER, Pere Antoni (or Pedro Antonio); Alfonso de ULLOA, translator.

    Cronica generale d’Hispagna, et del regno...

    Venice, Gabriel Giolito de’ Ferrari, 1556.

    First and only Italian edition of the first part of Beuter’s history of Spain and Valencia from the Great Flood to James I the Conqueror, handsomely bound for Don Pedro Antonio de Aragon.

    £3200

  2. [BEWICK, Thomas?]

    Twenty-six rubbings from engraved woodblocks of the heads of Kings and Queens and England, apparently never published...

    [1790-1805?]

    Twenty-six apparently unrecorded wood-engravings – heads of the monarchs of England from William the Conqueror to George III – these images taken by rubbing from the blocks rather than printing. The engravings bear strong similarity to the 26 which appear in An Abridgement of the History...

    £750

  3. BINGFIELD, William, pseud.

    The Travels and Adventures of William Bingfield, Esq; containing, as surprizing a Fluctuation...

    London: Printed for E. Withers ... and R. Baldwin ... 1753.

    First edition of one of the most entertaining imaginary voyages of the eighteenth century.

    £2100

  4. BLANCHARD, Edward Litt Leman.

    A Pipe of Tobacco: with Whiffs and Clouds … With Illustrations.

    London: H. Beal … [1840s?].

    First edition, by the editor and play- and pantomime-writer E.L. Blanchard, comprising three ‘whiffs’ and two ‘clouds’ on the subject of tobacco, aimed ‘at a niche in the waistcoast pocket, rather than a more presuming station on the library shelf’. Blanchard knew Dickens and was in...

    £125

  5. [BLOCQUEL, Simon-François].

    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.

    £550

  6. 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;...

    £500

  7. [MARLBOROUGH, John Churchill, Duke of.]

    Tract volume of five rare works (three not in the British Library) relating...

    London, 1695–1706.

    Five works, 4to, bound together in nineteenth-century half calf with marbled sides; first and last pages of all works dusty; inscription of the sixth Duke of Marlborough dated 1847, bookplate with the Marlborough arms.

    £3850

  8. BOLTON, Robert.

    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’,...

    £325

  9. BONET, Nicolas.

    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).

    £4000

  10. [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.

    £750

  11. BOSWELL, James.

    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...

    £1500

  12. BOUDIER DE VILLEMERT, Pierre-Joseph. 

    L’Andrometrie, ou examen philosophique de l’homme.  Par Monsieur l’Abbé de Villemaire. 

    Paris, chez Brunet, 1753. 

    First editions of two scarce works by the philosopher, moralist and Parisian avocat Boudier de Villemert (1716–1801), best known as the author of L’Ami des Femmes. 

    £2500

  13. BRITISH MUSEUM.

    List of Missing English Theological and Devotional Books.

    [London, 1940s.]

    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...

    £275

  14. BROME, Alexander.

    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...

    £500

  15. BROUGHAM, Henry Lord.

    Albert Lunel. A Novel ... In three Volumes ...

    London: Charles H. Clarke ... [1872].

    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...

    £450

  16. BROWN, Arthur Henry.

    Autograph manuscript notebook mainly of Christmas carols.

    [Brentwood?, 1864–87].

    An autograph manuscript notebook composed primarily of Christmas carols, compiled carefully over some twenty-five years from various sources including manuscripts in the British Museum, early printed books, and contemporary books and periodicals.

    £450

  17. 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...

    £200

  18. [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).

    £225

  19. [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...

    £475

  20. [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...

    £85