English Literature

Contact Donovan Rees or Ted Hofmann

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. WARREN, Samuel.

    Miscellanies critical, imaginative, and juridical, contributed to Blackwood’s Magazine.

    Edinburgh & London, William Blackwood & Sons, 1855.

    First edition of miscellaneous writings of the lawyer and novelist Samuel Warren. The Miscellanies were subsequently reissued by Blackwood with four other volumes of Warren’s works printed between 1854 and 1855; the text was also printed in two volumes.

    £100

  2. WHY AND THE WHEREFORE (The):

    or, the Lady’s two Questions resolved. Question the first; why Men have not much to boast of their...

    London: Printed for J. Lamb … 1765.

    First and only edition, extremely rare, of an unusual work of erotic fiction. Despite the implication that this is a translation from Italian, it is in fact an English original.

    £7500

  3. WOLLSTONECRAFT, Mary, and William BLAKE (illustrator).

    Mary Wollstonecraft’s original Stories, with five Illustrations … with...

    London, Horace Hart for Henry Frowde, 1906.

    Later edition of Wollstonecraft’s Original Stories, illustrated by William Blake.

    £50