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Portraits of the human mind, exhibited in a series of novellettes. Partly original, and partly selected, from the most celebrated authors. By A.M. Rayner. Vol. I. (II.)
London:, printed for the editor,, 1785.
2 vols ; 16.8 cm. (12º)
I: [4], 241, [1] p.
II: [2], 230, x p.

At foot of imprint: '[Price 7s 6d. in Boards]'. The dedication reads: 'To Those Distinguished Personages, Who Excited By The Purest Principles Of Benevolence And Humanity Patronised The Widow And the Orphan, By A Subscription Equally Liberal And Extensive This Little Work, Is With All Possible Respect, Inscribed By Their Most Obedient And Truly Obliged Servant, The Editor'. The ten-page list of subscribers at the end of vol. II includes 'Mr Soane', making this apparently the earliest publication to include Soane's name amongst its subscribers. Three other compilations containing some of the same contents in different combinations in one or two volumes issued under different title-pages are recorded in ESTC; all are described as 'partly original and partly compiled' by 'the late T. Potter, Surgeon, at North Shields'. No priority of these four issues or editions can be established, and no other copy of the present version has been traced (April 2013). The version with the title reading Novellettes moral and sentimental partly original and partly compiled by the late, T. Potter, dated 1785 and giving the price as '3s. in Boards', is in one volume with contents matching the Soane version with different preliminaries (ESTC t73606). The copy in the British Library is accompanied by a printed letter signed in MS. by A.M. Potter / No 22 Charlton Street / Marylebone, stating that 'the Author, or rather compiler of it, was my Father, by whose death ... four Children, the eldest of whom now addresses you, were left without any support, save the casual emolument which may arise from the sale of this publication.' Another version, with the title-page reading The moralist, or portraits of the human mind, exhibited in a series of novelettes, ... also dated 1785, is in two volumes (ESTC t55923). The second volume of this version appears substantially identical to vol. II of the Soane version with a different setting of sig. X ending after 'The Orphan, A Tale' on p. 221 (verso blank) whereas the Soane version continues with 'Desultory Thoughts on the Intercourse between the Sexes', pp. 222--230 and the list of subscribers. Two further editions or issues with the same title are recorded in 1786 (ESTC n4109) and 1786--87 (ESTC n4108). Another version, also in two volumes, has an undated title-page reading The moralist, or tales of instruction, and entertainment, ... (ESTC t67320) and a list of subscribers including a 'Mr. Soan', which, if referring to John Soane, indicates that subscriptions were being collected prior to August 1784 when he added the 'e' to his name.

Copy Notes Without the portrait of 'Mr. T. Potter' signed 'E. Malpas sc.' found in copies of the other compilations.

Binding Later C19th calf, blind roll-tooled borders, marbled-paper boards, gilt-ruled spine. Payment of 1s. 8d. to George Richmond, bookbinder, 25 April 1853. (Curatorial papers/Bailey/Parcel 1).

Reference Number 1127

Additional Names Richmond, George, bookbinder; Rayner, A. M.; Potter, A. M.

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