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ENFIELD, William (1741--1797)
The speaker: or, miscellaneous pieces, selected from the best English writers, and disposed under proper heads, with a view to facilitate the improvement of youth in reading and speaking. To which is prefixed an essay on elocution, and directions for reading. By W. Enfield, LL.D. A new edition, corrected and enlarged.
Ludlow printed by H. Procter; sold by T. Hurst; Macklin & Redwood; and Darton & Harvey, London, 1800.
xl, 383, [1] p. ; 17.5 cm. (12º)

One of the most popular books on elocution of the period, which went through many editions from 1774 to the mid-19th century, designed for the instruction of youth in reading and speaking. With an essay on the proper method and style, and a fine selection of pieces for declamation, many from Enfield's contemporaries (quite a few of them published by Joseph Johnson) such as Mrs. Barbauld, Price, Goldsmith, Sterne, Dr. Johnson, and others, but with a large and impressive selection from Shakespeare, especially in the section labelled 'Pathetic Pieces'. Macbeth, Hamlet, Antony, Lear, Othello, and Henry V all make their appearances in passages that remain among the most famous in all Shakespeare. Alston gives a good idea of the work's popularity, citing over thirty separate editions up to 1800. See Alston 375 (first edition). ESTC n24869.

Copy Notes End-papers and text variously inscribed and scrawled over; Latin inscription continuous in the margins of the first twenty leaves. The name (possibly jesting) of Edward Plumbpye on the rear pastedown; another name N Hibb[---?] on rear free-endpaper.

Binding Early C19th sheep, gilt-ruled spine, without spine-label or lettering.

Reference Number 214


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