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TOWNSHEND, Chauncy Hare.


London, Printed for Thomas Boys, 1821 Stock Code: 124878
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First edition, presentation copy, inscribed on the front free endpaper (probably in a secretarial hand): "From the Author". Townshend (1798-1868, originally Townsend, he added the "H" in 1828) was educated at Eton and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, winning the chancellor's medal for his poem "Jerusalem" (published 1817) and thereafter "was determined to be a poet; he approached Robert Southey, the poet laureate, with his work in 1815. Southey offered encouragement and they corresponded for several years, Townshend visiting Southey in Keswick. Townshend's first volume, Poems (1821), followed, dedicated to Southey" (ODNB).

This, his first collection of verse, includes one poem dedicated "To John Clare, the Peasant-poet of Northamptonshire" (p. 331). Townshend met Clare in the winter of 1820 and this is related in a very amusing anecdote by Clare's early biographer Frederick Martin, the "dandyfied poet of some note... all the way from London" bumping into the "short, thick-set man... bespattered with mud all over" (The Life of John Clare, 1865, p.41-42). Townshend was also a friend of Dickens; Great Expectations is dedicated to him and he was the recipient of the original manuscript.

Rather uncommon,, particularly so in such a lovely period binding and with an authorial presentation inscription.

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Octavo (157 x 92 mm). Contemporary calf, richly gilt spine with flat broad raised bands, sides with three-line gilt border enclosing a gilt foliate roll-tool panel, further gilt and blind panels and foliate corner pieces, gilt edge roll and turn-ins, marbled edges and endpapers.


Engraved vignette title by Pye after F. C. Turner, showing a stag in a clearing..


Minor rubbing to extremities, light foxing to title. A very attractive copy.


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