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CAREY, Henry.

Cupid and Hymen:

A Voyage to the Isles of Love and Matrimony; containing a most diverting account of the inhabitants of those large and populous countries...The whole consisting of the most refin'd ideas of love... In prose and verse. To which is added a description of the island of marriage... by Sir Humphrey Single. Design'd as a supplement to the matrimonial ceremonies of all nations lately publish'd. Fifth edition.

[London]: Sold at the Exchange, Fleet-street, St. James's, Bond-Street; and at the Dove, in Cecil Court, St. Martin's Lane, 1748 Stock Code: 144893
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A rare early edition, the fifth, in contemporary sheep of this uncommon allegorical fantasy about the isles of Love and Marriage in which the reader is given a description of these islands and what to expect when venturing there, which was first published in 1742.

Henry (Harry) Carey (1687-1743) was a poet and songwriter best-known today for his facetious dramas, "Carey's métier was satire and comedy; it was through Signor Carini and Lampe's burlesque opera The Dragon of Wantley (1737) and its sequel, Margery, or, A Worse Plague than the Dragon (1738), that he achieved deserved fame" (ODNB). He wrote a number of plays on love and marriage, lambasting the popular theatrical styles of the time, such as Chrononhotonthologos: the most tragical tragedy that ever was tragediz'd by any company of tragedians (1734, under the pseudonym Benjamin Bounce). Carey's end of life, however, was truly tragic as, overcome with grief after the death of his son, and facing professional difficulties, he hanged himself in 1743, leaving behind a pregnant wife and three children.

Early editions of this work are rare, we could trace none currently on the market, and only three auction records: one for this edition sold in 1992, and two for the first edition sold in 1971 and 2012.

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Duodecimo (163 x 98 mm). Contemporary sheep.


Title printed in red and black, 1 p. of publisher's advertisements at end.


Neat ink ownership inscriptions to title recto and verso, 6 lines of early manuscript verses to verso of last blank, and a cut-out catalogue description for a 1772 edition. Spine ends sometime restored, light wear to extremities, front hinge cracked but firm, very occasional spotting; still a very good copy.


ESTC T105580.


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