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.
BYRON, George Gordon, Lord.
Poems original and translated … Second Edition.
Newark: Printed and sold by S. and J. Ridge; sold also by B. Crosby and Co … Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme … F. & C. Rivington … and...
Unacknowledged reprint of the ‘second’ [i.e. first] edition of Poems original and translated, printed by Ridge without Byron’s permission. As the first printing ran out Ridge told Byron that he had reprinted some sheets to make up a few more copies; in fact he was to continue to reprint...
[BYRON, George Gordon, Lord].
Lara, a Tale. [and] Jacqueline, a Tale [by Samuel Rogers].
London: Printed for John Murray … 1814.
First edition, Randolph’s fourth variant (with the crooked roman numeral on p. 82 and the fallen period on p. 20). By 1814 Byron was heavily pressed by debts, having previously refused payment for his poems. For Lara, the fourth of Byron’s Levantine poems, published on the back of The Corsair...
BYRON, George Gordon, Lord Byron.
Hebrew Melodies … London: Printed for John Murray … 1815.
London: Printed for John Murray … 1815
First edition of a group of poems mainly written at the request of Douglas Kinnaird, Byron’s banker and friend, to accompany a selection of ancient Jewish sacred music set by Isaac Nathan, although the most famous of all, ‘She walks in Beauty’, had been composed impromptu a few months earlier when...
BYRON, George Gordon Noël, Lord Byron.
Manfred, a dramatic poem.
London, John Murray, 1817.
A contemporary sammelband of three works by Byron, two of them in first edition.
CADOGAN, William Bromley.
The Felicity of God’s Children, considered in a Sermon, preached upon the Death of a Lady, in the parish...
Reading: Printed and Sold by Smart and Cowslade; and sold by J. Rusher, Reading; Messrs. Robinsons, V. Griffiths ... & J. Matthews ... London;...
First edition, a funeral sermon by the popular preacher William Bromley Cadogan, a friend of John Newton, for the local widow Maria Littlehales, printed at the request of her children. A younger son of the third Earl of Cadogan, the well-connected churchman was vicar of St. Giles, Reading, and rector...
CAESAR, Gaius Julius.
[Opera] quae extant.
London, J. Brindley, 1744.
An attractive set of Brindley’s duodecimo Caesar, edited by the Irish classicist Usher Gahagan. The Caesar is one of several small-format classics published by Brindley in 1744, for which Gahagan was employed as editor. He subsequently produced versions of Quintus Curtius and Catullus, Propertius,...
Tract volume of nine scarce works of poetry, including two installation odes on the occasion of HRH William Frederick...
London and Cambridge, 1765-1823.
Autograph letter, signed, to the novelist and socialite Lady Morgan, explaining why he cannot join her party.
‘Wednesday Morning’, no date, but late 1840.
‘I have been dying also several times during the last six months – I hope however to survive a few weeks when I shall be nearer to you when, in my new house in Victoria Square, I shall hope to see you frequently.’ Campbell suffered increasing ill health towards the end of his life, but continued...
Meteor … Translated by M. and R. Weatherall.
London, George Allen & Unwin, .
First edition in English of Povětroň [Meteor] (1934), with a signed presentation inscription from Čapek to Václav Palivec on half-title, dated 1936. In 1935, Palivec, the brother of Čapek’s sister’s husband, gave Čapek and his new wife as a wedding present the use of a house in...
CARDONNEL, Adam de.
Picturesque Antiquities of Scotland [I–II] …
London: Printed for the Author, and sold by Edwards … also by Edwards’s, in Halifax. 1788.
First edition, the very rare issue with the plates in sepia, printed directly onto thick wove paper.
The Dramatick Works …
London: Printed by S. Gilbert, 1743.
First collected edition, published in the year of Carey’s death, with his final revisions, ‘not only free from the errors of false and spurious editions, published without my knowledge and consent, but (upon this occasion) revised and improv’d, even from my own original copies’.
Rime del commendatore Annibal Caro. Col privilegio di N.S. PP. Pio V. et dell’illustrissima signoria di Venetia.
Venice, Aldus Manutius the Younger, 1569.
First edition of the poetry of Annibale Caro, offering a scathing yet humorous critique of his greatest poetic rival, Ludovico Castelvetro.
Judith Gwynne …
Henry S. King & Co. … London, 1873
First edition, a scarce romance-cum-society novel.
CARROLL, Lewis [i.e. Charles Lutwidge DODGSON].
Useful and Instructive Poetry. With an Introduction by Derek Hudson.
London, Butler & Tanner Ltd for Geffrey Bles, 1954.
First edition. Useful and Instructive Poetry was Lewis Carroll’s first book, composed in 1845 (when its author was thirteen) and written out for his siblings Wilfred Longley Dodgson and Louisa Fletcher Dodgson. It was the first in a series of family magazines and was inspired in part by W.M....
‘CARROLL, Lewis’ [i.e. Charles Lutwidge DODGSON].
Feeding the Mind ... With a Prefatory Note by William H. Draper.
London, Billing and Sons, Ltd for Chatto and Windus, 1907.
First edition in book form, wrappers issue. ‘A short paper or lecture delivered in Oct. 1884 in the Derbyshire vicarage of Alfreton before a public audience. It is a comparison of feeding the mind with feeding the body in such points as proper food at proper intervals (a “fat mind”), mastication...
The Life and Actions of Lewis Dominique Cartouche: who was broke alive upon the Wheel at Paris, Nov. 28. 1721. N.S....
London: Printed for J. Roberts … 1722.
First edition in English, published in the same year as the French original. Louis Dominique Bourguignon, alias ‘Cartouche’ (1693-1721), began his life of crime stealing fruit from women at the gates of his Jesuit school and books from his wealthy classmates. To avoid punishment for theft he fled...
Comedies, Tragi-comedies, with other Poems … the Ayres and Songs set by Mr Henry Lawes, Servant to his late...
London, Printed for Humphrey Moseley … 1651.
First edition of the witty and elegant drama and verse of a celebrated ‘son of Ben’, who said ‘My son Cartwright writes like a man’. According to Evelyn, Charles I reckoned The Royall Slave ‘the best that was ever acted’ after he saw it as the main entertainment on the royal progress...
[CASTILLO Y SORIANO, José del.]
Amor á la creacion. Poesia dedicada á la Sociedad Madrileña Protectora de los Animales y de...
Madrid, Sociedad de Tipógrafos, 1879.
Very rare survival: a poem in twenty-four stanzas each of five lines devoted to the celebration of animals and plants, dedicated to the Madrid Society for the protection of nature, and publicly read by the actress Carolina Civili on the occasion of the May 1879 exhibition of plants and birds....
[CATHERINE II, Empress of Russia].
Le Czarewitz Chlore. Conte Moral. De main impériale & de maitresse.
Berlin, Fréderic Nicolaï, Lausanne, François Grasset, 1782.
First edition, very rare, of a speculum principis of the Enlightenment, by one of the time’s most enlightened monarchs. Le Czarewitz Chlore is a moral tale written by Catherine II of Russia for her two grandsons, the future Alexander I and his younger brother Constantine, while their father and mother,...
Thealma and Clearchus. A pastoral History in smooth and easie Verse. Written long since by John Chalkhill, Esq;...
London: Printed for Benj. Tooke … 1683.
First edition, with the corrected state of the title, designating Chalkhill as ‘an acquaintant and friend of Edmund [originally ‘Edward’] Spencer’.