English Literature

Contact Donovan Rees, Ted Hofmann or Alexander Laar

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. WALFORD, L[ucy] B[ethia].

    The Mischief of Monica … in three Volumes …

    London, Longmans, Green, & Co. … 1891.

    First edition. Born in Edinburgh in 1845, Walford began writing secretly soon after her marriage, contributing stories to Blackwood’s and other periodicals. Her family voiced serious disapproval upon the publication of her first novel, Mr Smith: A Part of his Life, in 1874; it was, however,...


  2. [WARD, Robert Plumer].

    De Clifford; or, The Constant Man. By the Author of “Tremaine” … in four Volumes …

    London: Henry Colburn … 1841.

    First edition of Ward’s last Silver Fork novel, published some fourteen years after De Vere, or, The Man of Independence. Ward was now seventy-six, and a ‘fashionable’ novel of this kind was ‘well out of its time’; so that De Clifford, while as accomplished as its predecessors, did not have...


  3. WESTALL, William.

    Roy of Roy’s Court … Vol. I [-II].

    London, Ward & Downey, 1892.

    First edition of ‘this story of “battles, sieges, fortunes”’ set in France in the time of Napoleon. Westall, the son of a Lancashire cotton spinner, became Times correspondent in Geneva and a friend of the Russian revolutionaries of his day.


  4. [WHITE, Charles].

    The Adventures of a King’s Page. By the Author of “Almack’s Revisited.” ... In three Volumes ...

    London: Henry Colburn ... 1829.

    First edition of a witty novel by the author of Almack’s Revisited (that marvellous parvenu’s manual disguised as a satire on parvenus). The Adventures of a King’s Page has a wider scope than the social hothouse of the silver fork novel, featuring a pageant of (among others) military men, foreigners,...


  5. WISTAN, Aden.

    Lucy, Francis and Cousin Bill. A novel in three Volumes ...

    London: Eden, Remington & Co. ... 1892.

    First edition, rare. The preliminary leaves in each volume, though clearly correct, are not as called for in Wolff and the binding is more elaborate than his maroon coarse morocco cloth blocked in blind. Here there are only two preliminary leaves (half-title and title page) in each volume; Woolf, however,...



    a Chronicle of “Days that are no More.” A Novel in three Volumes. By one – who not unknown to fame, / Yet...

    London: Remington and Co. ... 1879.

    First edition of a Regency tale which ranges from the convivial to the lurid as its setting ranges from Brighton to London Fields. The central character is a public servant of great importance and varying fortunes (he offers perhaps a hint as to what kind of fame our author was ‘not unknown to’,...