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Memoirs of the Life of Dr. Darwin,

chiefly during his residence in Lichfield, with Anecdotes of his Friends, and Criticisms on his Writings.

London: Printed for J. Johnson by T. Bensley, 1804 Stock Code: 140150
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First edition. Anna Seward (1742-1809), dubbed the Swan of Lichfield for her literary accomplishments, was a friend and fellow poet of the physician and natural philosopher Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles Darwin. Her Memoir focuses on Darwin's early life in Lichfield from 1756 to 1781 and "reveals her indulgent fondness for his idiosyncratic genius as a doctor, inventor, and writer. Her critical explication of Darwin's poetry and her comparisons of his work with that of other poets reveal not only her keen appreciation of Darwin's playful, voluptuous style, but also her own extensive knowledge of English poetry. At the same time, she uses the Darwin biography to write about her own life and to further her critical views. She reconstructs, in order to honour, the vibrant intellectual life of the Lichfield circle of which Darwin, her father and, eventually, Seward herself were the leading figures" (ODNB).

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Octavo (204 x 127 mm). Contemporary tree calf, smooth spine divided by paired gilt fillets, tawny morocco label, blue speckled edges, gilt milled edge roll.


From the Castle Forbes Library, County Longford, with the attractive engraved armorial bookplate of George Forbes, sixth earl of Granard (1769-1837). Neat old repair to foot of back joint, light bump at foot of front cover, single wormhole at foot of front joint (not penetrating to letterpress), preliminary blanks creased, a little soiling to title page. A very good copy in an attractively plain period binding.


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