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POETICAL AMUSEMENTS ...
Poetical amusements at a villa near Bath.
Bath printed by R. Cruttwell, for L. Bull, bookseller, in Bath: and sold, in London, by Hawes, Clarke, and Collins, 1775.
viii, 150, [2] p., [1] pl., frontis.; 18.6 cm. (8º)

Anonymous. Edited by Anne, Lady Miller, who was also the author of many of the poems. This is the first edition of a collection of poetical compositions and bouts-rimés from the literary salon held by Lady Miller at her villa in Batheaston; many of the poems are addressed to 'Members of the M-ll-r family', and the authors of many of them are identified in a similar way. Lady Miller was also the author of Letters from Italy, first published in 1776, and Soane may have made her acquaintance through George Dance prior to his departure for Italy in 1778, when he travelled with a copy of the second edition 1777 (q.v.). After his return from Italy Soane maintained the acquaintance and was invited to participate in Lady Miller's poetic gatherings, but there is no evidence that he submitted any verses: see Gillian Darley, John Soane: an accidental romantic (London 1999), p. 62. The Poetical amusements went through a second and third edition in 1776, and three further volumes followed in 1776, 1777 and 1781. The frontispiece shows the antique vase discovered near Frascati, wreathed in laurels, into which the participants at Lady Miller's poetic salon deposited their literary efforts; the winner was then wreathed in myrtle. The final leaf contains an index to the 'enigmas' devised by the members of Lady Miller's Batheaston literary circle. ESTC t54990.

Binding C18th calf, gilt-tooled floral borders, gilt-tooled spine with floral and vase ornaments, green morocco spine-label.

Reference Number 621


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