MARVELL, Andrew.

Miscellaneous Poems; [together with:] Advice to a Painter; [and:] Second Advice to the Painter.

London: Printed for Robert Boulter; [place and publisher not stated for latter two]; 1681; [1679; 1679?] Stock Code: 130819
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"Had we but world enough and time..."

First edition of all three works. Miscellaneous Poems includes the first printing of one of the greatest poems of seduction in the English language, "To his Coy Mistress". Published a couple of years after Marvell's death, the volume made his poetic talents known to a general readership who would have known him, if at all, only from his commendatory verses to the second edition (1674) of Milton's Paradise Lost, and perhaps from some satires, thus rescuing from obscurity one of the major English lyricists of the seventeenth century. As usual, this copy has the cancelled leaves removing poems in praise of Oliver Cromwell: "Failure of nerve during a temporary crisis in Whig fortunes had led to excision of the three Cromwell pieces before sale from almost all known copies of the work" (ODNB); only two copies, both imperfect, are known with them.

Advice to a Painter is now generally attributed to the Restoration courtier Henry Savile (1642-1687), rather than to Marvell. The poem, an anti-Catholic satire on the Duke of York, was written in 1673 but was only published in 1679, at the height of public uproar over the Popish Plot. The attribution to Marvell was upheld by both Wing and Pforzheimer, but correspondence between Savile and his brother show it to be Savile's authorship. The Second Advice to the Painter was also generally accepted as the work of Marvell, but is now in doubt, given the authorship of the first.

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3 works, folio (293 x 186 mm). Mid-20th-century brown calf (Miscellaneous Poems) and brown morocco-backed brown cloth (Advice to a Painter/ Second Advice), all housed in brown chemises within a brown cloth slipcase, spine lettered in gilt attributing each work to Marvell.


Contemporary notation "12" at head of Miscellaneous Poems. With an old catalogue description by James F. Drake of New York loosely inserted. Miscellaneous Poems: earlier stab holes visible, pages lightly toned, scattered foxing, small stain at foot of title and prefatory page. Advice to a Painter/Second Advice: a little toned and foxed, very minor fraying around extremities. Overall a very good set.


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