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GRAY, Thomas (1716--1771)
[Poems. London. 1775]
The poems of Mr. Gray. To which are prefixed memoirs of his life and writings by W. Mason, M.A. The second edition.
London: printed by H. Hughs; and sold by J. Dodsley, Pall-Mall; and J. Todd, Stonegate, York, 1775.
[4], 416, 109, [1] p., engr. frontis. port. ; 26.6 cm. (4°)

This is the first London edition of Gray's poems with Mason's 'Memoirs' of the poet, the first edition of which was published in York in the same year (q.v.). In this printing the 'Poems' have separate pagination but continuous register, and 'The Elegy Written In A Country Church-yard' is not set in quatrains. The frontispiece is as described for the York edition. See C.S. Northup, A bibliography of Thomas Gray (New Haven 1917), 14. ESTC t125123.

Copy Notes Copy 1: Purchased from Thomas Boone on 22 August 1806 for £1 10s. (Spiers Box). With Boone's annotations in pencil on front free-endpaper.
Copy 2: 28.4 cm. Imperfect; wanting the fly-title to the 'Memoirs'. Purchased through W. Robins for £1 15s. at Lord Lyttleton's sale (1 July 1823 et seq., q.v.), 4th day, lot 56. This copy was presumably acquired partly because of its fine binding, which is described in the sale catalogue as 'superb red morocco'.

Binding Copy 1: C18th calf, gilt-tooled spine compartments, red morocco spine-label lettered 'Mason's Gray'. Copy 2: C19th red morocco, gilt-tooled with outer thick-thin rule, wide palmette and anthemion border and decorative inner fillet, gilt-tooled spine, direct-lettered 'Gray's Poems Mason Lond. 1775', gilt-tooled inner dentelles, dark turquoise silk bookmark, gilt edges.

Reference Number 1429


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