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Considerations upon The secret history of the White Staff. Humbly address'd to the E--- of O------
London: printed for A. Moore, and sold by the booksellers of London and Westminster, [1714?].
35, [1] p. ; 17.6 cm. (8º)

Anonymous. Variously attributed to Francis Atterbury, Bishop pf Rochester, to Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, or to the Whig political pamphleteer John Oldmixon. A reply to The secret history of the White-Staff (q.v.), Defoe's famous defence of his former patron, Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, printed shortly after Defoe's pamphlet was published, and before his authorship was widely assumed. Harley is here named as the author of his own justification, but to no avail: 'In short, My L--d, your day is over; no one will unite with you, nor divide for you; wherefore you have nothing else to do, but to repent of the mischiefs you have done this poor nation'. Furbank and Owens (p. 148) cite this pamphlet as 'probably' by Francis Atterbury, but hard evidence is lacking. John Oldmixon has also been suggested, but the rather civilized tone seems uncharacteristic of his manner; a third and more likely candidate is Lord Bolingbroke (see ODNB), who had no patience for Harley despite common political aims. The pamphlet went quickly through six editions. The bookseller's name in the imprint is fictitious. See M. Treadwell, 'Of false and misleading imprints', in M. Harris and R. Myers (eds.), Fakes and frauds, 1989, pp. 41-43. Typographical device on title-page. ESTC t31573.

Copy Notes Inscribed in ink in an early hand on title-page Suppos'd to be wrote by / Bp. Atterbury. Bound with thirteen further short publications on the same and other subjects including Defoe's The secret history of the White-Staff (q.v.). Part of a uniformly bound 48-volume set of works by or attributed to Defoe which on the evidence of endleaves variously watermarked '1814', '1808', etc. was presumably assembled around 1810--15.

Binding C19th half calf, marbled-paper boards, gilt-tooled spine direct-lettered in gilt 'Defoe's Works' and 'Hist. Of The White Staff Mitre & Purse'.

Reference Number 801

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