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FALCONER, William (1732--1769)
The shipwreck, a poem, by William Falconer, a sailor: the text illustrated by additional notes, and corrected from the first and second editions; with a life of the author, by J.S. Clarke, F.R.S. ...
London: printed for William Miller, 1811.
[4], xlvi, [2], 214, [10] p., engr. frontis., [3] pl. : [6] engr. illus. ; 23.2 cm. (8°)

First published in 1762; this edition first published in 1804. Printer's statement on half-title verso and colophon: J. Moyes, printer. Falconer was second mate on the Britannia, a vessel in the Levant trade, when he was shipwrecked on a voyage between Alexandria and Venice in 1762. The poem is a romanticized account of the disaster which he and two others survived; seven years later, Falconer was shipwrecked again, when he died on a passage to India. An influence on Byron's Don Juan and the Romantic movement, his poem was frequently reprinted, including many fine press illustrated editions of which this is one, with six vignettes and four full-page engravings by the marine engraver J. Fittler after N. Pocock. The editor, James Stanier Clarke, Vicar of Preston and Librarian to the Prince Regent, is now chiefly remembered for his portrait of Jane Austen, but his edition is textually faulty. Falconer also compiled a marine dictionary, The universal dictionary of the marine (1769) which became the standard reference work until the end of the age of sail, and as a sailor was the first to use real nautical terms in English poetry; this edition includes notes on the terms. See K. Huntress, A checklist of narratives of shipwrecks and disasters at sea to 1860, Ames, Iowa, 1979, 74C; R.J. Wheeler, James Stanier Clarke and his watercolour portrait of Jane Austen, Sevenoaks, 1998.

Copy Notes Presentation copy from James Moyes, the printer of many of Soane's works, inscribed in ink on front free-endpaper Mr. Moyes presents his / most respectful compliments to Mr. Soane / and requests his acceptance of this Poem / as a small tribute of esteem and regard.

Binding C19th navy-blue straight-grain morocco, front and back boards with gilt roll-tooled egg-and-dart border within gilt fillets, inner dentelles gilt-tooled with zig-zag lines, outer corners of boards gilt-tooled to suggest rope-ends, spine gilt-stamped with ornamental maltese crosses within blind fillets and gilt-dotted false bands, and date '1811' at base, gilt fore-edges.

Reference Number 1371


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