(SUMMERS, Montague, ed.)
Covent Garden Drollery.
First Fortune Press edition (and second overall), limited to 575 copies printed on hand-made paper, of which this is number 474. This “collection of all the choice songs, poems, prologues, and epilogues, (sung and spoken at courts and theaters) never in print before” was originally published in London in 1672, that edition now represented in only eight known copies in libraries worldwide. An unusually restrained production from Reginald Caton’s Fortune Press: “Caton was an enigma. The Fortune Press made him money principally through its steady output of pornography … His interest in proper literature was a means of providing his pornography list with a shroud of respectability and, given that it made him little money, as a tax dodge for his other role as landlord of a large number of low-rent, barely habitable properties in Brighton” (Bradford, The Odd Couple, Ch. 3).
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Octavo. Original brown boards, brown cloth backstrip, spine lettered in gilt, fore and bottom edges untrimmed. With the dust jacket. Wood-engraved frontispiece and title-page, foliate head- and tailpieces, facsimile of original title-page. Bookseller’s ticket to front pastedown, pencilled ownership inscription to front free endpaper. Surface-splitting to hinge between signatures D and E, light spotting to deckle-edges, faint tanning to endleaves. An excellent copy in the clean and fresh dust jacket.