One Hundred Fables in Verse;
by Various Authors. Selected and Revised by James Plumptre, B. D.London: C. & J. Rivington, 1825 Stock Code: 93146
First edition of this collection of fables, including a number by Christopher Smart, William Cowper and the Scottish poet William Wilkie. Educated at the fashionable Newcombe's school at Hackney, James Plumptre (1771-1832), took part in the amateur theatricals that were encouraged there, before going up to Cambridge; he was ordained in 1794. His continuing lively interest in the theatre led him to compose a handful of plays, including The Lakers: a Comic Opera (1798), "an amusing send-up of contemporary types, such as the enthusiastic botanizing lady, the tourists with carriages embracing the vogue for 'wild nature', and the solitary walker (who is the hero of the piece), it is interspersed with mildly pleasing songs. It is periodically revived, usually in its Lake District setting" (ODNB). Plumptre was "concerned for drama as a moral educator" (ibid.) and this extends to his "revision" of a number of these fables. His entertaining journals kept while travelling around Britain in the 1790s was published as James Plumptre's Britain (Hutchinson, 1992).
Scarce in commerce, Library Hub cites eight copies in British and Irish institutional libraries; WorldCat adds just four worldwide (British Columbia, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Southern Mississippi, Creighton University).
Octavo (178 x 109 mm). Contemporary half calf, smooth spine gilt lettered direct, divided by paired gilt fillets, central motif of a plume and foliate sprig, "Shell" pattern marbled paper sides, speckled edges.
Contemporary ownership inscription to front free endpaper, "The gift of the Revd D. Davies", and "George Edmund Wicksted, 1846", of Betley Hall, Staffordshire, JP and Land Tax Commissioner. Light craquelure to binding, joints rubbed and partially split at head of front joint, scattered foxing but still a pretty copy.
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