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. LEWIS, Wyndham.

    Snooty Baronet.

    London, Cassell & Co. Ltd., 1932.

    First edition, first issue binding, the first of three books Lewis published with Cassell, and the first of his novels not to find an American publisher.


  2. LEWIS, Wyndham.

    The Revenge for Love.

    London, Cassell & Co. Ltd., [1937].

    First edition, very scarce in the dust-jacket, of ‘one of Lewis’s finest novels … a brilliant novel of character’ (Bridson, The Filibuster), set in pre-Civil War Spain and centred on an incident of Communist gun-running on the border. ‘Here for once, Communism is accepted as a...


  3. LEWIS, Wyndham.

    Rotting Hill …

    London, Methuen & Co. Ltd., [1951].

    First edition, inscribed ‘To Geoffrey / Benedictions / Wyndham Lewis’. Rotting Hill was a collection of stories, ‘no more political than “some of Charles Dickens’ books, and all by Mr. Shaw”’ (Bridson, The Filibuster), in that ‘today our lives are saturated by’ politics....


  4. LEWIS, Wyndham.

    Self Condemned.

    London, Methuen & Co. Ltd., [1954].

    First edition, second impression (June 1954), one of Lewis’s most successful works, a novel based on his self-imposed exile in Canada during World War II. Eliot thought the work one of Lewis’s best, ‘a novel of almost unbearable poignancy’. Bridson and Lewis had corresponded about the work, then...


  5. LEWIS, Wyndham.

    Unlucky for Pringle. Unpublished and other Stories … Edited and introduced by C. J. Fox and Robert Chapman.

    [London,] Vision, [1973].

    First edition, inscribed by the editor ‘To Geoffrey and Joyce Bridson with warmest good wishes Cy Fox’. Seven of the fifteen stories were first published here. Fox’s postcard thanks Bridson for a letter ‘which was terrifically gratifying – especially from one who did so much to get the...


  6. LEWIS, Wyndham.

    The Roaring Queen. Edited and introduced by Walter Allen.

    London, Secker & Warburg, [1973].

    Limited edition, no XXVII of XXX copies not for sale, signed by Mrs Wyndham Lewis, Michael Ayrton & Walter Allen, with a signed etching by Michael Ayrton. A further 100 numbered copies were for general sale at £30 each.


  7. LEWIS, Wyndham. 

    The Human Age.  Book Two, Monstre Gai.  Book Three, Malign Fiesta.  Illustrations by Michael Ayrton. 

    London, Methuen & Co. Ltd., [1955]. 

    First edition, inscribed ‘To Geoffrey Bridson – you who did so much to make the completion of this book possible, and who was chiefly responsible for its translation into Radio drama – I salute you. / Wyndham Lewis’. 


  8. LEWIS, Wyndham.

    The Vulgar Streak.

    London, Robert Hale Ltd., 1941.

    First edition, first impression, a scarce work because of wartime paper shortages and, possibly, the destruction of a portion of the first impression in the Blitz; certainly Robert Hale’s offices were bombed and the records destroyed, and the work was reprinted within a month.


  9. LEWIS, Wyndham.

    The Childermass … Section 1.

    London, Chatto & Windus, 1928.

    First edition, no. 74 of 225 copies of the special edition, signed by Lewis, additionally inscribed, in c. 1951, ‘To Geoffrey Bridson (through whom I am enabled to finish this book) – deepest thanks and friendliest greetings / Wyndham Lewis’.


  10. LEWIS, Wyndham.

    The Red Priest.

    London, Methuen & Co. Ltd, 1956.

    First edition, the last book published before Lewis’s death in March 1957. Bridson and Lewis had corresponded about a possible radio adaptation but Bridson had concluded it was over-episodic and would not translate well (letter of 6 March 1951).


  11. LUCIAN, of Samosata.

    Deorum dialogi... una cum interpretatione e regione latina nusquam antea impressi...

    Strassbourg, Johannes Schott, 1515.

    First edition edited and translated by the German humanist (and musician) Ottmar Nachtgall.


  12. MADDEN, Dodgson Hamilton.

    The Diary of Master William Silence: A Study of Shakespeare & of Elizabethan Sport.

    London, New York, & Bombay, Longmans, Green, & Co., 1897.

    First edition of Madden’s reimagination of Elizabethan sport, derived from passages from Shakespeare. Though a legal writer and prominent jurist, being appointed attorney-general of Ireland in 1889, the best known publication of Dodgson Hamilton Madden (1840–1928) remains the Diary of Master...


  13. MANLEY, Mrs. [Delarivier]. 

    The Power of Love: in seven Novels viz. I. The fair Hypocrite. II. The Physician’s Stratagem....

    London, Printed for John Barber … and John Morphew … 1720.

    First edition, apparently a presentation copy, of Delarivier Manley’s last work of prose, a collection of seven amorous novellas partly derived from William Painter’s Palace of Pleasure (1566), ‘adding divers new Incidents’, and supplemented by several original compositions. Historically...


  14. MARINI, Giovanni Ambrogio.

    The Desperadoes; an heroick History. Translated from the Italian of the celebrated Marini (the Original...

    London: Printed by W. R. and sold by T. Asltey … J. Isted … and T. Worrall … 1733.

    First and only edition in English of Le gare de’ disperati (1644), the second of three romances by Marini (1596-1668). Inevitably, ‘It was necessary to omit many Things that were contrary to our Morals; to Decency, and to the Purity of the English Tongue …’. But the general scheme of events...


  15. MARIVAUX, Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de.

    Le Paysan parvenu: or, the fortunate Peasant. Being Memoirs of the Life of Mr. ––––....

    London: Printed for John Brindley … Charles Corbett … and Richard Wellington … 1735

    First edition in English, originally published in French in the Hague in 1734-5. This is the second of the two important novels by Marivaux, which broke new ground in the art of writing fiction. ‘Where La Vie de Marianne belongs to the moralizing and sentimental romance tradition, Le Paysan...


  16. MARSHALL, W.

    Monsell Digby. A Novel, in three Volumes ...

    London: Remington and Co. ... 1880.

    First edition. Set in industrial and rural Lancashire against the background of the economic unrest of 1815, Monsell Digby follows the fortunes of a number of young men caught up in a murderous Luddite riot and its aftermath. Not in NUC and Supplement; UCLA and Texas only on OCLC. Wolff 4582.


  17. MEDINA POMAR, Duke de.

    Fashion and Passion or, Life in Mayfair … by the Duke de Pomar… Author of “The Honeymoon” and “Through...

    London: Chapman & Hall … 1877.

    Second edition (first published in 1876) of this wildly-popular novel of London society, published after the first edition sold out in two months. It follows the fortunes of the beautiful Señorita Consuelo and her lover Alfredo, who meet on a small-trader passage from Bilbao to London. Consuelo’s...


  18. MEREDITH, George.

    One of our Conquerors ... In three Volumes ...

    London: Chapman and Hall ... 1891.

    First edition of a ‘striking study of marital misery’ (Sutherland). Sadleir 1700.


  19. MEREDITH, George.

    One of our Conquerors ... In three Volumes ...

    London: Chapman and Hall ... 1891.

    First edition of a ‘striking study of marital misery’ (Sutherland). Sadleir 1700.


  20. MITCHISON, Naomi; Wyndham LEWIS, illustrator.

    Beyond this Limit …

    [London,] Jonathan Cape, [1935].

    First edition. This was Lewis’s only collaboration with Mitchison but she arranged for the publication of his Left Wings over Europe the following year, and they remained friends until his death. 32 designs by Lewis served as the inspiration for Mitchison’s narrative.