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.
New York, George Braziller, 1967.
First trade edition, inscribed ‘For Geoffrey and Joyce [Bridson] / this little hymn of love / from Conrad / 1968’.
New York, Oxford University Press, 1964.
Second printing (first 1961), inscribed: ‘For Geoffrey from Conrad and Savannah with a Hosanna 1968’. Born in Savannah, Georgia, Aiken spent winters there later in his life. It was in Savannah in April 1968 that Bridson recorded the unbroadcast interviews which provide a valuable insight into...
Le Parnasse des dames.
Paris, Janet, .
An attractive copy of Janet’s Parnasse des dames, a pocket-book alamanac on art and literature aimed at a female readership. The little volume contains a broad miscellany of verse, some by female authors, prefaced by engraved copies of works by seventeenth-century French and Dutch painters...
Almanacco delle Dame.
Florence, F. Canale, .
A lavishly decorated – and seemingly unrecorded – Florentine almanac for ladies, containing love poetry, notable dates, and illustrating the latest fashions of 1883.
ALMEIDA, Theodoro de.
Lisboa destruida poema, author o P. Theodoro de Almeida, da Congregaçaõ do Oratorio de Lisboa.
Lisbon, Antonio Rodrigues Galhardo, 1803.
First edition of this poem in six cantos, with extensive notes, on the disastrous 1755 Lisbon earthquake, by the Oratorian priest and philosopher Almeida (1722-1804). One of the deadliest in history, the earthquake almost totally destroyed the Portuguese capital and accentuated political tensions within...
ANSELMI, Giorgio, the younger.
Georgii Anselmi nepotis Epigrammaton libri septem. Sosthyrides. Peplum Palladis. Aeglogae...
Venice, Maffeo Pasini, September 1528.
The definitive edition of the epigrams of Giorgio Anselmi, grandson of the astrologer and music theorist of the same name, with several epigrams on his grandfather’s lost works on magic and the occult.
Enfin: A Poem, hitherto unpublished, by Sir Edwin Arnold.
New York, printed by Thomas Perry Stricker for Julian Buddolph Arnold, 1936.
First edition, one of only fifty copies hand-printed by T. Perry Sticker, presentation copy from the editor (the author’s son) and accompanied by his autograph note regarding the printing and planned circulation of the poem.
The Strayed Reveller, and other Poems. By A.
London: B. Fellowes …1849
First edition of Arnold’s first book, apart from the Rugby and Oxford prize poems Alaric at Rome and Cromwell. To conceal his authorship as ‘A.’ suggests a certain reticence about the volume, even though it contains a number of his finest early poems, including ‘The Forsaken Merman’. Only 500...
AUDEN, W.H. Collected poems.
Edited by Edward Mendelson.
London, Faber and Faber, 1976.
First edition. Denis Healey’s copy, with his signature dated 1976 to front free endpaper, his occasional marginal pencil marks, and a few notes to rear pastedown. Denis Winston Healey, Baron Healey (1917-2015) served as Secretary of State for Defence from 1964 to 1970, Chancellor of the Exchequer from...
AUDEN, Wystan Hugh.
Louis MacNeice, a memorial Address, delivered at All Souls, Langham Place on 17 October, 1963.
Privately printed for Faber & Faber, .
First edition, one of 250 copies.
AUDEN, Wystan Hugh, and Louis MACNEICE.
Letters from Iceland.
London, Faber & Faber, .
First edition. Was it perhaps Auden and MacNeice’s journey to Iceland that inspired Bridson’s own visit to the country in 1939?
AUSONIUS, Decimus Magnus.
Ausonii Burdigalensis, viri consularis, omnia, quae adhuc in veteribus bibliothecis inveniri potuerunt,...
Bordeaux, Simon Millanges, 1580.
First Vinet edition of the works of the fourth-century poet Ausonius, with interesting annotations by two early readers. Ausonius taught rhetoric in his native Bordeaux for thirty years before serving as tutor and then consul to the emperor Gratian. He was a prolific poet, employing a variety...
Psyche: or Loves Mysterie in XX. Canto’s: displaying the Intercourse between Christ and the Soule …
London, Printed by John Dawson for George Boddington … 1648.
First edition. Beaumont was one of the royalist fellows ejected from Cambridge in 1644, and he devoted his enforced retirement to the composition of this poem, a ‘religious epic’ representing ‘a Soule led by divine Grace, and her Guardian Angel ... through the difficult Temptations and Assaults...
a Poem. Inscrib’d to Joseph Grove, Esq. of Richmond, in the County of Surrey …
London: Printed in the Year 1749.
First edition, rare (British Library and Yale only) of a very attractive description in verse of a country estate in Richmond. The first pages offer a prospect of the garden with its flowers and shrubs, shaded walks and arbours, a bower with the escutcheon over the door of the late Sir William Humble,...
BRASSICANUS, Joannes Alexander.
Hymnus in Apollinem, studiorum pariter ac studiosorum omnium exemplar, ordine conscriptus alphabetico...
Strasbourg, Johann [I] Knoblauch, 1523.
First and only edition, rare, of this close analysis of a Greek hymn to Apollo, by Johannes Alexander Brassicanus (1500–1539), professor, precocious poet, and friend of Erasmus.
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...
BROWN, Arthur Henry (1830-1926), composer and church organist.
Autograph manuscript notebook mainly of Christmas carols compiled...
For all but five years of his long career Brown was organist at churches in Brentwood, Essex, and at Sir Anthony Browne’s School in the town. He was a fertile composer of more than 800 pieces of church music, including the hymn tunes ‘Ingatestone’, ‘Purleigh’, ‘Saffron Walden’, and ‘Tiltey...
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...
BUQUOY, Georg Franz August de Longueval, Freiherr von Vaux, Graf von.
Anregungen für philosophisch-wissenschaftliche Forschung...
Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel, 1825.
First edition, rare, of a comprehensive discussion by the author of his personal philosophy, with c. 50 pages of his poetry thrown in at the end for good measure. Samuel Hahnemann refers to the work in Die chronischen Krankheiten (1828–30), calling Buquoy a ‘deep-thinking, many-sided scholar and...
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...