Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2013 Issue

English Verse 1751-1800 from Justin Croft and Simon Beattie

Beattiecroftengvera-g

Old English verse.

Justin Croft and Simon Beattie have issued a catalogue of English Verse 1751-1800. Part I: A-G. Who could have imagined there were so many poetical Englishmen? Here are over 300 poetical tracts covering just the second half of the 18th century and only authors from A-G. This is not filled with Shakespeares or Shelleys or whomever were their late 18th century counterparts. If you are deeply into English poetry of this period you will probably recognize a few names, but many are shrouded in obscurity. Some earned good reputations, others were seriously panned, at least by their contemporary critics. Many men of the cloth turned to poetry in this era, with varying degrees of success. This poetry will undoubtedly entertain you, some for the right reasons, others for the wrong. This is truly a remarkable collection of such work, much of which you undoubtedly will never find again. Here's your chance. Now, these are a few samples.

First up is Harold, a Tragedy, by Thomas Bryce. This is a poetical drama on the Norman Conquest that was delayed from publication until 1786 because of a similar, conflicting play. That other play, The Battle of Hastings, by a Mr. Cumberland, was described by the English Review as “one of the worst tragedies in the English language,” the reviewer noting that “Harald forms a bad subject for a tragedy.” Perhaps this review is what held poor Mr. Bryce, a clergyman, back from even publishing his version for years. The play was never performed. Another tragedy! Item 68. Priced at £250 (roughly $394 in U.S. dollars).

Item 87 is Buonaparte's Reverie: a Poem, by H.L. Galabin, published in 1799. This is an inscribed copy of what is described as “a witty poetic satire on Napoleon's grandiose delusions in the face of the recent failure of the Nile expedition.” Napoleon undertook a mission in 1798 to seize Egypt in the hopes of interfering with archenemy Britain's trade with the East. It did not go well. The Egyptians were an unruly lot, not willing to bow to Napoleon's wishes. Meanwhile, the French naval forces were defeated by Horatio Nelson (something that would happen again) in the Battle of the Nile. Bonaparte took advantage of unrest in France as an excuse to hightail it out of Egypt and return home. While his departure from Egypt made for some good British satire in 1799, Napoleon would soon wreak all kinds of havoc on the British and Europe before finally being subdued a decade and a half later. £600 (US $947).

Item 204 is A Collection of original Poems, by Samuel Derrick, published in 1755. Derrick was a linen-maker who left Dublin to become an actor on the London stage. Apparently he was a bad actor, his career short-lived. He turned to writing instead. He was not great at this either but eventually settled into the comfortable job of Master of Ceremonies at Bath, sort of a head greeter and P.R. person. During his literary years, he did manage to make the acquaintance of both Samuel Johnson and James Boswell. Boswell ended up rather contemptuous of him, describing Derrick as “a little blackguard pimping dog.” I'm not entirely sure what that is, but it doesn't sound nice. Johnson was perhaps a bit more tolerant, but according to Boswell, when asked who was the better poet, Derrick or Christopher Smart, replied, “no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea.” Again, this doesn't sound positive. £700 (US $1,105).

Item 183 is Rhymes after Meat. By a Bird at Bromsgrove... a fourth edition, circa 1800. John Crane was the “Bird at Bromsgrove” (get it?), a watchmaker whose emblem was a crane with a watch in his beak. The Monthly Critical Gazette described Crane as a man “whom the Gods, in their wrath, have made poetical.” Crane's aim in writing these poems may have been to promote his business, as his book is a vehicle for advertisements of the many goods he sold, including jewelry, nutcrackers, cutlery, musical instruments, cricket bats, and much more. £950 (US $1,501).

Rare Book Monthly

  • 20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Full scale vintage <i>Sputnik-1</i> EMC/EMI Lab Model, with live transmitter. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown SOYUZ-3 space navigation indicator with unflown on-ground transformer. <br>US$ 30,000-40,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown on SOYUZ 9<br>An exhaustive manuscript on life in space. [Trans: On-Board Flight Journal for Spacecraft Soyuz-9, 1970]. US$ 6,000-9,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> SOYUZ 18? Flown Navigation Celestial Globe. Soyuz 18 lasted from May 24-July 26, 1975. US$ 30,000-40,000
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Space Suit from ISS Expidition 6. Worn by Flight Engineer Don Pettit on his dramitic return to earth. US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Original Gemini 133P Trainer Assembly Five Part Electrical System & Attitude Maneuver ... US$ 60,000-90,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Rover Development. Collection of 11 vintage gelatin silver prints and 4 vintage NASA lithographs. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000.
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Orbiter I. The first image of the earth as seen from the moon. Gelatin silver print. August 23, 1966. US$ 2,500-3,500
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Michael Collins' Flown Crew-Signed Apollo 11 Emblem. One of the very few Armstrong signed mission artifacts. US$ 50,000-70,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart. Taken to Lunar surface mapping the start of the <br>first manned lunar descent. <br>US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> FFlown Apollo 11 Flight Plan Sheetmission Day One. Some of the first words and data values written by Neil Armstrong. US$ 18,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Apollo 12 - Alan Bean in the Ocean of Storms. Signed and inscribed by Bean. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>The Chap Book</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>Troupe de Mlle Églantine</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Philippe Henri Noyer, <br><i>Limonade Brault</i>, 1938. <br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br><i>The Great Men of the World</i>,<br>designer unknown, circa 1945-46. <br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>James Montgomery Flagg,<br><i>Wake Up, America!</i>, 1917.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Alfred F. Burke, <i>Share / Jewish <br>Relief Campaign</i>, circa 1915.<br>$3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Ludwig Hohlwein, <i>Marke Pkz / <br>Burger - Kehl & Co.</i>, circa 1911. <br>$8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br>Gian Emilio Malerba,<i> E.A. Mele / Modo e Novita per Signora</i>, circa 1900. $7,000 to $10,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION, Chicago, 1968). <i>Collection of papers of John M. Bailey, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, concerning the convention</i>. Various places, 1968.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (ARMSTRONG, NEIL.) VERNE, JULES. <i>A Trip to the Moon.</i> New York: F. M. Lupton, September 9, 1893. Signed by Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions