OTHER AUTHORS AT ASH RARE BOOKS – THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
OTHER AUTHORS AT
OTHER AUTHORS – EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
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BOSWELL, James, 1740-1795 : BOSWELL’S LIFE OF JOHNSON.
London : Archibald Constable, 1906. A standard set of “what remains the most famous biography in any language, one of Western literature’s most germinal achievements: unprecedented in its time in its depth of research and its extensive use of private correspondence and recorded conversation” (Gordon Turnbull in ODNB). Boswell on Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), first published in 1791, and here edited by Augustine Birrell (1850-1833), retaining all the prefatory matter of the earliest editions.
[BURNEY, Fanny (Frances), 1752-1840] : CAMILLA: OR, A PICTURE OF YOUTH.
London : for T. Payne; and T. Cadell & W. Davies, 1796. First edition. One of the most popular and influential novels of its time – the tale of Camilla Tyrold and her sisters, their cousin the beautiful Indiana Lynmere, and their suitors – love and marriage, darkness and light, intrigue, contretemps and mistake. The book also has probably the most distinguished list of subscribers ever to grace a novel – featuring not least the twenty-year-old Miss J. Austen of Steventon – Jane Austen, much influenced by Fanny Burney (Madame d’Arblay), specifically referring to “Camilla” in “Northanger Abbey” as one of those works “in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language”. Also on the subscription list, besides a broad swathe of the aristocracy, were Edmund Burke, Sir Joseph Banks, James Beattie, George Canning, Maria Edgeworth, Warren Hastings, Richard Heber, Edmond Malone, Hannah More, Hester Piozzi, Anne Radcliffe, and Humphrey Repton.
CENTLIVRE, Susanna, 1669?-1723 : THE DRAMATIC WORKS OF THE CELEBRATED MRS. CENTLIVRE, WITH A NEW ACCOUNT OF HER LIFE.
London : John Pearson, 1872. Second collected edition. “Writing is a kind of lottery in this fickle age, and dependence on the stage is as precarious as the cast of a die”. All nineteen of Centlivre’s plays, from the “The Perjur’d Husband”, which “went off with general applause” in 1700, to “The Artifice” of 1722, including “The Wonder” (1714) – which Garrick chose for his farewell performance in 1776 – and “The Busie Body” (1709) – another Garrick favourite, which ran to forty editions before 1884; “The Gamester” (1705) – probably her most popular; “The Man’s Bewitch’d” (1709) – with its heroine’s rousing chorus of “Give Me Liberty and Love”, and “The Gotham Election” (1715) – the first English play to deal with vote-rigging and considered too dangerous ever to be staged, as well as “The Platonick Lady” (1706), “The Perplex’d Lovers” (1712), etc. With facsimiles of the title-pages of the only earlier collected edition of 1760-1761.
CHAPONE, Hester (Hester Mulso), 1727-1801 : MISCELLANIES IN PROSE AND VERSE.
London : for E. & C. Dilly; and J. Walter, 1775. First edition. A collection of various pieces from Hester Chapone – Richardson’s “little spitfire” – including her much-admired essays “On Affectation and Simplicity” and “On Conversation”, the novella “The Story of Fidelia”, and a selection of poems.
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GOLDSMITH, Oliver, 1728-1774 : THE POEMS AND PLAYS OF OLIVER GOLDSMITH.
London : J. M. Dent & Co., 1889. First Temple Library edition : one of 150 numbered copies (of 250) on large paper. A handsome set, delightfully printed on fine paper at the Chiswick Press and bound by Birdsall of Northampton. “The Traveller”, “The Deserted Village”, “Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog”, “When Lovely Woman”, “The Good Natur’d Man”, “She Stoops to Conquer”, and a host of lesser known material. Edited and introduced by Austin Dobson (1840-1921).
GOLDSMITH, Oliver 1728-1774 : THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD. A TALE.
London : Suttaby, Evance & Fox, and Baldwin, Craddock & Joy, 1820. A most attractively bound pocket edition of Goldsmith’s great classic, originally published in 1766. “There are a hundred faults in this thing; and a hundred things might be said to prove them beauties; but it is needless. A book may be amusing with numerous errors, or it may be very dull without a single absurdity” (Oliver Goldsmith).
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JOHNSON, Samuel, 1709-1784 : JOHNSON’S TABLE-TALK: CONTAINING APHORISMS ON LITERATURE, LIFE, AND MANNERS; WITH ANECDOTES OF DISTINGUISHED PERSONS: SELECTED AND ARRANGED FROM MR. BOSWELL’S LIFE OF JOHNSON.
London : for C. Dilly, 1798. First edition. “No, Sir; we had talk enough, but no conversation ...” – the essential Johnson distilled (with Boswell’s entire approbation). Johnson on conversation, wine, marriage, children, education, conduct, manners, London, trade, travelling, life, death, religion, politics, and much else.
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MONTESQUIEU, Charles de Secondat, Baron de, 1689-1755 : THE PERSIAN LETTERS OF CHARLES DE SECONDAT MONTESQUIEU ... NOW FIRST COMPLETELY TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH WITH NOTES AND MEMOIR BY JOHN DAVIDSON ...
Philadelphia : Printed only for Subscribers by George Barrie, [ca.1896]. First American edition, limited to 1,000 numbered copies on hand-made paper, of this elegant rendition of Montesquieu’s famous satire on French and European civilisation, viewed through the prism of two fictional Persian travellers. The forthright and unafraid iconoclasm of the apostle of freedom, once “extolled to the clouds ... as the man of genius who had rediscovered the title-deeds of the human race”. First published in 1721 and translated into English the following year, but here in its first complete translation, as privately printed in England in 1892. Translated, with an introduction and biography, by the poet John Davidson (1857-1909), and graced with the delightful illustrations of the curious hermit artist Charles Édouard de Beaumont (1821-1888), etched by Émile Boilvin (1845-1899). Published in George Barrie’s impressive “Bibliophilist’s Library” series.
SHERIDAN, Richard Brinsley (Richard Brinsley Butler), 1751-1816 : THE WORKS OF THE LATE RIGHT HONOURABLE RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN.
London : John Murray, 1821. The first authorised collected edition of Sheridan. Includes “The Rivals”, “St. Patrick’s Day”, “The Duenna”, “A Trip to Scarborough”, “The School for Scandal”, “The Camp”, “The Critic”, “Pizarro”, “Verses to the Memory of Garrick”, etc. With an introduction by Thomas Moore.
SHILLITO, Charles, 1758-1794 : THE COUNTRY BOOK-CLUB : A POEM.
[Boston] : G. K. Hall & Co., 1964. A facsimile of the original 1788 edition, issued as a Christmas gift by the bookselling firm. With a note on the author. “Books, that were worthy of superior praise, Unlike the flimsey works of modern days ...”. Loosely inserted is a card signed by G. K. Hall.
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STERNE, Laurence, 1713-1768 : THE WORKS OF LAURENCE STERNE IN TEN VOLUMES COMPLETE.
London : for J. Dodsley, J. Johnson, G. G. J. and J. Robinson, T. Cadell, J. Murray [and others], 1793. A handsome early collected edition of Sterne, comprising “Tristram Shandy”, “A Sentimental Journey”, three volumes of sermons and two of letters, as well as “A Fragment in the Manner of Rabelais” and “The History of a Watch-Coat”, together with his own memoir of his life and family.
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