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PILKINGTON, Laetitia (1712--1750)
The memoirs of Mrs. Lætitia Pilkington, wife to the Rev. Mr. Matthew Pilkington. Written by herself. Wherein are occasionally interspersed, all her poems; with anecdotes of several eminent persons, living and dead. Among others, Dean Swift, Alexander Pope, ...
[London]: Dublin printed; London reprinted: and sold by R. Griffiths, and G. Woodfall, 1748. (1749.)
2 vols ; 16.7 cm. (12º)
[I]: viii, 302, [2] p.
II: 8, 364 p.

Imprint for vol. II omits G. Woodfall's name. First volume without volume number, and with an advertisement on the final leaf reading 'In the press, and speedily will be published, vol. II. of this work, which will conclude the whole.'. Volume II was published in 1749 together with a reissue of vol. II, and has the title-page reading as above until: ... interspersed, her poems, with variety of secret transactions of some eminent persons. Vol. II. Volume I is gathered in 6s, vol. II in 12s. Catchword on p. 7 of the preliminaries in vol. II is 'While,' (in a variant it is 'Whil'). Lætitia Vanlewin (or van Lewen) married the poet Matthew Pilkington of Offley (1701--1774) before 1730. They feature in Swift's correspondence as 'a little, young, poetical parson, who has a littler, young, poetical wife', and as 'the mighty Thomas Thumb and her Serene Highness of Lilliput'. The Pilkingtons had several children before the marriage ended in divorce in the spiritual court, on the grounds of Lætita's adultery. Swift was not slow to change his opinion of them stating in a letter to Pope: 'Yet I confess that Doctor Delany, the most eminent preacher, is a very unlucky recommender. For he forced me to countenance Pilkington, introduced me to him and praised the wit, vertue and humour of him and his wife. Whereas he proved the falsest rogue and she the most profligate whore in either Kingdom'. A third edition of Lætitia's Memoirs was published in 1751 with page 364 in vol. II reset to include a note stating that 'The author intended another volume of these Memoirs, but died before she completed it; and that the publick may be assured, no such third volume will ever be published'. Nonetheless, a third and last volume was published in 1754 (q.v.). See H. Teerink A Bibliography of the Writings of Jonathan Swift (1963), 1329. ESTC t141022 (vol. I, 1748), ESTC t141022 (vols I--II, 1749).

Copy Notes Bought as a set with the third volume (q.v.); vol. I inscribed in pencil by the bookseller with the price 4s. 6d. for the three volumes.

Binding C18th calf, gilt double-ruled borders and spine, black leather spine-labels

Reference Number 1090


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