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WOLCOT, John (1738--1819)
The works of Peter Pindar, Esq. Vol. I (--III).
Paris [i.e. Edinburgh?]: printed for the booksellers of London, Edinburgh, and Dublin, [1793?].
3 vols ; 19.5 cm. (8º)
I: [4], 340 p.
II: [4], 334 p.
III: [4], 339, [1] p.

Peter Pindar is the pseudonym of the poet and satirist John Wolcot. The imprint is false; possibly printed in Edinburgh. Wolcot's verse - much of which was satirical or ad hominem - was written under the pseudonym 'Peter Pindar', first used in his popular Lyric odes to the Royal Academicians for 1782. A constant hostile critic of the Royal Academy and many of its luminaries, he maintained a long-established position as an irreverent commentator on artistic trends. In a letter to Soane of 16 March 1817, John Taylor - a friend of both Soane's and Wolcot's, and editor of the Sun newspaper - remarks 'I was with our poetical friend, the balancing Philosopher [i.e. Wolcot], last night. It is surprizing how much he recollects of your conversation, and he received with pleasure my assurance that you would visit him again when your lectures were over. - He desired me to write the subjoined verses, and has no objection to have them appear with his name. If therefore you do not object I shall send them to our friend Perry [editor of The Morning Chronicle, a Whig paper], as I have no influence in my own paper. Impromptu By Dr. Wolcot. Master Nash, Master Nash, You merit the lash, For debauching the taste of our Heir to the throne: Then cross not the Seas, To rob the Chinese, But learn to be wise from VITRUVIUS and SOANE.'. (Priv. Corr.IV.T.7.5; see also Hooked on Books 10.1). This letter is interesting on at least two levels. Firstly, the ageing Wolcot appears here to be encouraging Taylor to ghost-write his verse, perhaps because 'Peter Pindar's' poetry was a more marketable commodity than Taylor's own; and secondly, 'Peter Pindar's' words of praise to artists and architects are very few, and - even at the level of endorsement rather than actual composition - this poem must reveal that Wolcot had a genuinely high regard for Soane's work. Soane's purchase of this edition from Taylor in May 1793 gives a terminus ante quem for the publication of this undated edition. ESTC t63914.

Copy Notes Bought from Mr. Taylor in Scotland Yard for 18s. on 5 May 1793. (Jnl 2, p. 297). Volumes I and III partially unopened.

Binding Original C18th publisher's marbled-paper boards with white paper spine, printed paper spine-label reading 'Peter Pindar's Works. Vol. ...'.

Reference Number 1370


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