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DEFOE, Daniel (1661?--1731)
[The secret history of the White-Staff. Part 1]
The secret history of the White-Staff, being an account of affairs under the conduct of some late ministers, and of what might probably have happened if Her Majesty had not died.
London: printed for J. Baker, 1714.
71, [1] p. ; 17.9 cm. (8º)

Anonymous. By Daniel Defoe. Part 1 of a three-part work. 'The White Staff' is Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford. Defoe's celebrated defence of his one-time patron Robert Harley, who had just resigned the white staff of his office of Lord Treasurer and was facing Whig demands for impeachment on a charge of high treason, triggered a swarm of tracts attacking Lord Oxford's Jacobite intrigues. A second part was published later in the same year (q.v.), surveying Harley's clever handling of the Scottish Jacobite peers (by having them sent up to Parliament), followed by a third in 1715 (q.v.) dealing with a variety of subjects. Harley repudiated these tracts and Defoe denied authorship, but Oldmixon and other opponents immediately recognized them as his handiwork; they are no doubt the tracts referred to in a letter from to Defoe to Harley (August 3, 1714), 'vindicateing your Lordshipps person and conduct and exposeing your enemyes.' In this edition of part 1 the title-page ornament contains a sun. At foot of imprint: '(Price One Shilling.)'. ESTC t71947; Furbank and Owens 165; Moore 280.

Copy Notes Bound (1) with parts 2--3 and twelve further short publications on the same and other subjects. 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 798


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