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THOMSON, James (1700--1748)
The seasons. By James Thomson.
London: printed for A. Law, W. Miller, and T. Martin, 1794.
[2], xxx, [3], 34--228 p., [4] engr. pl. ; 13.4 cm. (12° in 6s)

The first combined issue of Thomson's hugely popular long poem The Seasons was published in 1730. This edition, the Soane copy of which is lacking the title-page, must have been printed no later than 1804 on the evidence of Mrs. Soane's dated ownership inscription, and is tentatively identified with an edition represented by a single copy at the John Kinder Theological Library, Auckland, New Zealand, from which the title and imprint details supplied above are taken, as is the presence of an engraved plate for each season. It includes 'An Account Of The Life And Writings Of Mr James Thomson' (pp. [i]--xxviii; first line of text: 'Mr Thomson was born at Ednam, in') which is followed by the 'Ode On The Death of Mr Thomson By Mr Collins' (pp. xxix--xxx). The text concludes with 'A Hymn' (pp. [225]--228). Signatures: [pi1: title-page?]; A1--C2 'Account Of The Life ...'; C3 'Ode ...'; C4-F6 'Spring'; G1-M2 'Summer'; M3-Q2 'Autumn'; Q3-T4r 'Winter'; T4v blank; T5-6 'A Hymn'. ESTC t213874.

Copy Notes Imperfect; wanting the title-page and the engraved plates. Inscribed in ink on front free-endpaper Eliza. Soane / 1804 and on front paste-down pret: p.e.. This, rather than the folio edition of 1797 in a Kalthoeber binding (q.v.), is probably the copy of Thomson's Seasons bought from Thomas Boone in 9 June 1804 for the modest price of 1s. 6d. (Priv. Corr. XVI.E.1.4). Another duodecimo edition of 'Thomson's Seasons' in a 'Calf Gilt' binding was apparently purchased from T. & W. Boone for 6s. on 12 January 1831, but does not survive in Soane's library. (Priv. Corr. XVI.E.7.15).

Binding Late C18th/early C19th tree calf, gilt-ruled spine, compartments of spine gilt-stamped with six-pointed stars, red morocco spine-label.

Reference Number 1394


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