Aphorisms on Authors and their Ways;
With some general observations on the humours, habits, and methods of composition of poets – good, bad, and indifferent. Diligently collected from Johnson's "Lives".
First and only edition, 100 copies printed. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author “To M.C, from AB, Christmas 1917” on the initial blank, and latterly in the collection of American-born Conservative politician and diarist Sir Henry “Chips” Channon (1897-1958), with his pencilled ownership inscription to the front free endpaper. Birrell resigned as chief secretary for Ireland in the aftermath of the Easter rising in 1916, and spent his retirement engaged in literary pursuits. “His witty and elegant essays on writers he admired, such as Milton, Pope, Carlyle, and Dr Johnson, revealed his passion for literature and his intellectual versatility” (ODNB).
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Octavo. Original boards, printed paper label to spine and front board, fore and bottom edges untrimmed. Extremities and spine a rubbed costing one letter on the label, shallow chip to top edge of sig. C7 where clumsily opened. An excellent, entirely unsophisticated copy.