The Beauties of English Poesy.
Selected. In two volumes.London: for William Griffin, 1767 Stock Code: 143778
Scarce anthology of English poetry in a handsome contemporary bindingFirst edition, complete with the half-titles and contents leaves in both volumes. This is a particularly nice copy, in a handsome unrestored contemporary binding, of this scarce anthology of English poetry selected by Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), published the year after The Vicar of Wakefield.
The selection includes such near-contemporary works as Pope's "Rape of the Lock", Gray's "Elegy", Johnson's "London", and Young's "Night Thoughts", as well as Milton's earlier "Il Penseroso" and "L'Allegro", and is an excellent introduction to 18th-century taste. Goldsmith's Preface states the book's intention to "shew them what is beautiful, and inform them why it is so", to which end each poem is introduced by a succinct critical commentary. The author closes his preface by wryly hoping that "this work be useful in schools, or amusing in the closet".
2 volumes, octavo (167 x 101 mm). Contemporary speckled calf, spines gilt-tooled in compartments with raised bands gilt-rolled and two gilt morocco title labels (one red, one tan) each, board edges gilt-rolled.
Extremities lightly rubbed, a few minor marks and scratches to calf, small chip to calf at the head of spine of volume I, corners bumped, joints sound, internally fresh but for ink marks and a small perforation to leaf B4 and otherwise some very faint spotting and the occasional minor mark. An excellent copy.
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