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SMART, Christopher (1722--1771)
Poems on several occasions. By Christopher Smart, A.M. ...
London: printed for the author, by W. Strahan; and sold by J. Newbery, 1752.
[16], 230 p., engr. frontis., [1] etch. pl. ; 29.2 cm. (4°)

First edition, with an illustrious subscribers' list guaranteeing the publisher the sale of no fewer than 845 copies of the book. The subscribers include David Garrick (and Mrs. Garrick), the poets William Collins, Thomas Gray, William Mason and Moses Mendez, Samuel Richardson, James Paine ('Architect'), the sculptor 'Mr. Roubilliac', and Voltaire ('Historiographer of France'). The book was a commercial and artistic success demonstrating Smart's poetic versatility though the critical reception was not universally positive. It includes Latin translations of Pope's Essay on criticism and Milton's L'allegro facing the English originals. The frontispiece plate is engraved by Charles Grignion after Francis Hayman, and the plate is etched by Thomas Worlidge, dated 1751. Smart was married to the stepdaughter of the bookseller John Newbery in 1752, and was later to suffer a breakdown which led to his confinement in a madhouse (see ODNB). ESTC t42626.

Copy Notes Bought from Thomas Boone for 2s. 6d. on 18 March 1815. (Spiers Box). Inscribed John Soane in ink on first free-endpaper. The signatures of two previous owners (one in ink dated 1752) have been erased from the front pastedown which bears the number 562 in ink (perhaps a library or a bookseller's number). Boone's price and codes are pencilled on the verso of the front free-endpaper.

Binding Contemporary C18th mottled calf, blind double-ruled borders, gilt double-ruled spine, brown morocco spine-label.

Reference Number 1494


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