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BYSSHE, Edward (fl. 1702--1712)
The art of English poetry. Containing I. Rules for making verses. II. A collection of the most natural, agreeable and sublime thoughts, viz. allusions, similes, descriptions and characters of persons and things, that are to be found in the best English poets. III. A dictionary of rhymes. By Edward Bysshe, Gent. The seventh edition corrected and enlarged.
London: printed for A. Bettesworth, J. Osborn, F. Fayram, W. Mears, J. Pemberton, C. Rivington, J. Hooke, F. Clay, J. Batley and E. Symon, 1725.
2 vols ; 16.6 cm. (12°)
I: [8], 40; 280 p.
II: 288; x, 38 p.

First published in 1702. The seventh edition was first issued in 1724. 'A Collection of the Most Natural and Sublime Thoughts' has a special title-page dated 1725 and separate pagination and register in vol. I; vol. II includes a 'A Dictionary of Rhymes', dated 1724 on the special title-page and with separate pagination but continuous register. Despite being criticized for its "mechanistic reductiveness" (ODNB), Bysshe's book proved hugely popular and was much used, going through nine editions by 1762. In a letter to Lady Ossory in January 1775, Horace Walpole remarked that "one might as well sit down to read Bysshe's Art of Poetry as hear scraps of a plot one does not know". ESTC t89131.

Copy Notes A copy was bought from Thomas Boone for 3s. on 9 June 1804 (Priv. Corr. XVI.E.1.4). Inscribed in pencil on the front pastedown s/o but without Boone's usual annotations or codes.

Binding C18th sprinkled calf, gilt double-ruled borders and spines, red and green morocco spine-labels.

Reference Number 1546


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