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John Price Antiquarian Books

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The Poetical Decameron, Or Ten Conversations on English Poets and Poetry, particularly of the Reigns of Elizabeth and James I.

COLLIER (J. Payne) FIRST EDITION. Two volumes. 8vo, 193 x 127 mms., pp. [iii] - xlv [xlvi blank], 336; [3] 4 - 353 [354 blank], F6 in cancelled state, finely bound in contemporary crushed olive morocco, spines richly gilt, with title and author in gilt; lacks half-tittle in volume, corners a bit worn, but a very good to fine set, with the gilt binder's stamp "MATTHEWS" on the lower turn-ins of the front cover of each volume. Books of "imagined conversations" or "imaginary conversations" take many forms, and her Collier imagines himself, using pen names, in conversation with Thomas Amyot and Henry Crabb Robinson. Collier consciously modelled his work on T. F. Dibdin's The Bibliographical Decameron (1817), so he was probably not please when the Monthly Review commented that, "The general scheme of this work was formed long before the appearance of the Rev. Mr. Dibdins's 'Bibliographical Decameron,' a work of far deeper research and far wider learning than the author can pretend to." Austin Allibone in his A Critical Dictionary of English Literature and British and American Authors (), asserted that "The reader should secure this work," quoting Henry Hallam's endorsement: "Few books lately published contain so much valuable and original information." Arthur Freeman and Janet Ong Freeman, John Payne Collier: Scholarship and Forgery in the Nineteenth Century (Yale, 2004) A3.
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Essays, by a Society of Gentlemen, at Exeter. Vol. I. Part I. Vol. I. Part II.

DOWMAN (Hugh)] FIRST EDITION, [?second issue]. 2 volumes. 8vo, 247 x 148 mms., pp. [vi] - viii, 270; [2], 271 - 573 [574 blank], including half-title, engraved plates at pages 110 (foxed), 115, 118 (foxed), 124 (foxed), and 312 (slightly foxed), original boards, uncut, rather crudely rebacked with quarter vellum spine; front hinges cracked, boards worn, corners worn, but a good set. The physician and poet Hugh Downman (1740 - 1809) began his life as a parson, after a stint at Balliol College, but he turned to a career as physician, studying in Edinburgh for three years and living in an apartment with the poet Thomas Blacklock. He moved to London, began practicing medicine, and obtain an M D. from Aberdeen, probably by paying for it, which was not that unusual for an Aberdeen M. D. in the 18th century. His literary career began in 176, with one of the few poems published in Spenserian stanzas in the 18th century, The Land of the Muses. His best-known poem was in Miltonic blank verse, Infancy, or, The Management of Children (17774 - 1776). In the early 1980s, he founded the above literary group, and, as ODNB notes, "published a volume of essays in 1796; Downman wrote the introduction and three additional pieces. The society originally had nine members, subsequently increased to twelve, all of some distinction; they included Richard Polwhele and Isaac d'Israeli, father of Benjamin Disraeli, who became a friend and patient of Downman in 1795. While at Exeter d'Israeli wrote some verses in Downman's praise which were published in an anonymous pamphlet in 1807. The society survived for nearly twelve years but enthusiasm waned with the health of its founder and meetings were discontinued." Richard Polwhele (1760 - 1838) contributed a valuable essay on falconry, which appears in the first part of volume one, "Historical Outlines of Falconry," but he involved himself in a bitter quarrel with his fellow contributors over the publication of this essay, which might account for the fact that there are two different states of the title-page (see below). Downman wrote to Polwhele, "We go on but slowly with our volume. Hayter's paper on the Ptolemaic Chronology is but just begun. We inserted your Essay on Falconry, as being more original than that on the Progress of Literature, though not quite in order. The latter one, indeed, should be much curtailed; the third part seems to be the only one proper to be retained, with some short introduction, in which may be preserved your idea (I believe it is your own, and a just one,) of the origin of Pastoral Poetry; but on this I shall consult the other members of the Committee in time, and acquaint you more particularly, or send it to you if necessary." Some of the argy-bargy can be found in an article in The Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine Or Monthly Political and Literary Censor, "A Letter to a College Friend, relative to some late Transactions of a Literary Society, at Exeter" (1798), which is, in fact, by Richard Polwhele. There were many contemporary positive reviews of the essays, e. g., in The Analytical Review, Or History of Literature, Domestic and Foreign, "The essays before us, proceeding from various pens of course possess considerable diversity of merit: they will, however, on the whole, reflect great merit upon the society; for several of the pieces afford striking proofs of ingenuity, diligence, and erudition, in their respective authors." One might compare Robert Southey's letter of 1 September 1799, "I am about to house myself at Exeter for a few weeks, till our habitation in Hampshire be vacant. there is a literary society at Exeter - Disraeli – Hole – & Dr Downmans [sic] who writes sonnets in blank verse. but they are a sort of monsters in literature, all furiously ministerial, even to intolerance of those who think otherwise – so the door is shut upon me, & I have no inclination to knock." ESTC T188130 locates only the copy at Exeter Central library of the book with the above imprint. Another issue, with an errata leaf, states, "Printed by and for Trewman and Son. London: sold by Cadell and Davies, Strand; Robinsons, Paternoster-Row; and Robson, New Bond-Street," with an errata leaf, as well as a preliminary Advertisement dated 1796. The title-page in the present copy is clearly a cancel, which suggests that it is a second issue with the errata corrected. A similar copy was sold at Dominic Winter on 30 January 2007, with the bookplate of Guy Alymer and his ownership inscription; there is no bookplate or inscription in this copy. For the historical importance of the work, see Dafydd Moore, "Patriotism, Politeness, and National Identity in the South West of England in the Late Eighteenth Century," in ELH (2008), where the authorship of some of the essays is identified.
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Prince Darling, A Tale. Embellished with Cuts. Second Edition.

DARLING (Prince) 16mo, 133 x 80, pp. [5] 6 - 48, engraved frontispiece on verso of front-free end-paper, 5 other full-page engraved plates, one of which has been coloured by hand, one partially coloured, original wrappers, with paper label on front cover; ink stains on pp. 32 - 33, various names in ink , as well as other autographs and scribblings, wrappers soiled and worn, rear cover stained. The OCLC note for the fourth edition of 1825 states, "Originally published about 1809./ A moral fairy tale in which the fairy Candida punishes Prince Darling for his wickedness, transforming him into a creature with "the head of a lion, the horns of a bull, the feet of a wolf, and the tail of a viper."/ A green decorated paper label on the upper stiff-paper wrapper reads: Houlston's edition. Prince Darling. Price sixpence./ Inscriptions on the upper wrapper and recto of the frontispiece are dated 1828." The ownership dated 28 October 1807 clearly proves that the work was published earlier than 1809 or 1810, the date ascribed to the second edition in the BL copy. The first edition would have been published in 1807 or earlier, but apparently not in the 18th century as ESTC doesn't record any edition with this title. The text is substantially different from that published by Andrew Lang.in 1889. The BL copy of this second edition is available online, and there are copies of a fourth edition, dated 1825, in Princeton and Toronto. I could not trace any other copies. Not in Gumachian.
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T. Lucretii Cari De Rerum Natura Libri Sex. A D. Lambino Monstroliensi litt. Grec. Lutetie doctore Regio nuper ope veteru[m] codicu[m] a multis mendis vindicati, nunc ab eodem recogniti, & perpurgati. Accesserunt aliquot ab Adr. Turnebo emendationes. In calce libri variae lectiones: Le rerum insigniorum index.

LUCRETIUS. Small 8vo, 123 x 78, pp. [xxiv], 277 [sic, for 287, 288 blank. 289 - 303 variant readings [3044 blank, 3055 - 318 index], woodcut title-page, with scrolls, column, faces within heartshapes, etc., later (probably 18th century) limp vellum, leather label; some small inkstains on early leaves, some very slight worming, front hinge almost complete open, with inner spine exposed. The text has been prepared by Adrianus Turnebus (1512 - 1516), and as Wikipedia notes, "At the age of twelve he was sent to Paris to study, and attracted great notice by his remarkable abilities. After having held the post of professor of belles-lettres in the University of Toulouse, in 1547 he returned to Paris as professor (or royal reader) of Greek at the College Royal. In 1562 he exchanged this post for a professorship in Greek philosophy. In 1552 he was entrusted with the printing of the Greek books at the royal press, in which he was assisted by his friend, Guillaume Morel. Joseph Justus Scaliger was his pupil. He died of tuberculosis on 12 June 1565 in Paris. Montaigne wrote that he 'knew more and better, what he knew, than any man in his age or of many ages past.'" The French classical scholar Denis Lambin (Latinized as Dionysius Lambinus) (1520 - 1572) was first professor of Latin at the College de France and later professor of Greek. One of the great scholars of his age, he is noted as an exceptionally skilled textual critic, and many of his readings are retained in modern editions of classical text. His edition of Lucretius was first published in 1563. The printer Philippe Gaultier was active in Paris 1562 - 1569. Although Luctretius' text has been edited, studied, and commented on, I found Stephen Greenblatt's book, The Swerve: How the World became Modern (2011) elegantly and cogently written and a useful reminder that much of what we know and take for granted derived from geniuses like Lucretius. PMM 87 for the first edition of 1563. Gordon 203 for this edition. OCLC locates copies Manchester, Southern California, and Heidelberg. There is also a copy in Paris at the BN. See also Quaritch's 2015 catalogue of books from Cosmo Gordon's library.
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Masonic Miscellanies, in Poetry and Prose. Containing I. The Muse of Masonry, Comprising One Hundred and Seventy Masonic Songs, (Chiefly adapted to familiar Tunes), Cantatas, Duetes, Cathches, Glees, Oratorios, Anthems, Eulogies, Odes, Sonnets, Prologues and Epiloguese, With apprropriate Toasts and Sentiments. II. The Masonic Essayist. III. The Freemason’s Vade Mecum

JONES (Stephen) FIRST AND ONLY EDITION. 12mo, 140 x 78 mms., pp. vi [vii - x Contents and poem on Masonry by Dermody], 328 [329 adverts, 330 blank], engraved frontispiece, contemporary calf, recently rebacked in lighter calf, spine gilt, new endpapers, with the armorial bookplate of P. Rogers. A very good copy, with extensive annotations in the first hundred pages in a contemporary hand, possibly by Rogers. The work is dedicated to another Mason, William Preston (1742 - 1818), whose niece he married: "Jones was an enthusiastic freemason. For a time he was editor of the Freemason's Magazine (c.1807), and he wrote Masonic Miscellanies in Poetry and Prose (1797) and A Vindication of Masonry from a Charge of Having Given Rise to the French Revolution, which was posthumously published in 1847. He was a fully instructed member of the Harodim lodge and the Harodim chapter; he also belonged to the lodge of antiquity and was married, it appears for the second time, to the niece of William Preston (1742–1818), its deputy grand master" (ODNB). The book was appreciatively reviewed in The Monthly Review: "In the long course of our literary labours, we have met with a variety of publications on the subject of Free-Masonry none of which we (uninitiated in the secrets of the mysterious Brotherhood) pretend to hope or understand: but to the best of our judgment, the present collection seems to form the most entertaining miscellany of the kind that has yet appeared."
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The Beauties of English Prose: Being a Select Collection of Moral, Critical, and Entertaining Passages, Disposed in the Manner of Essays. The whole tending to cultivate the Mind, and promote the Practice of Virtue.

BEAUTIES. FIRST EDITION. 4 volumes. 12mo, 161 x 96 mms., pp.xi [xii blank], 264; [iv], 263 [264 blank]; [iv], 288; [iv], 288, including half title in each volume, contemporary calf, spines richly gilt in compartments, red and green morocco labels; severa lnicks and chips on binding, but generally a very good and attractive set. The (so far) anonymous compiler gives the classic reason for this collection: "designed chiefly for the instruction and improvement of the British Youth of both sexes."; the work can also find a place in the "libraries of Gentlemen and Scholars, to whom they may occasionally afford some assistance, by present them.with the most admired Writers in the English language, upon subjects of Taste, Learning, and Morality." The Monthly Review for 1772 commented on the popularity of collections like this one, but asserted of this one that, "the collection appears to be, on the whole, judiciously and carefully executed, and is adapted both to entertain and improve." The Critical Review more-or-less concurred: "The articles which compose this large collection, are, in general, the most ingenious and approved passages of the English prose writers of great eminence. The literary fame of the authors from whom these volumes are extracted, is so respectable, that probably from that circumstance alone, the public will be inclined to form a presumptive opinion of the work; and we shall only observe, that, in this case, their judgment will not be misguided by such a predilection."
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Acajou et Zirphile, Conte.

DUCLOS (Charles Pinot)] FIRST EDITION. 4to, 286 x 210 mms., pp. [viii], 83 [84 blank], engraved frontispiece, and nine other full-page engraved plates after François Boucher by Pierre-Quentin Chedel, two vignettes designed and engraved by Charles-Nicholas Cochin and a cul-de-lampe, contemporary calf, spine richly gilt, red leather label; corners, top and base of spine worn, but a good copy. The plates first appeared in Comte de Tessin's Faunillane, ou l'Infante Jaune, published in 1741. Tesssin, having had only a few copies printed of this book, later gave the plates to the publisher Laurent Prault, who then had the fun of finding a text that might serve be proper for the plates. As Christies noted in the auction of another copy in June, 2013, "He proposed the idea to three writers, Caylus, Voisenon and Duclos, and it was Duclos' text which was finally chosen. This is thus one of the earliest cases of a non-explanatory text being commissioned to accompany a set of plates." The work was mentioned favourably in Southern Review (1831): "Duclos, a writer of great talent and good sense as a moralist and historian, and Count Caylus, equally distinguished as an industrious antiquary and an ingenious painter and engraver, tried their pens with success in fairy tales. The 'Acajou et Zirphile' of the former, and the 'Contes Orienteaux' of the latter, are among the prettiest we have of this class. We are inclined to think this fairy literature was never as much in fashion in other countries as in France, where the elegance of style of a number of talented men gave undue attraction to plots utterly repugnant to good taste." What is the plot here that is so utterly repugant? Acquire the book and find out, while being charmed by the plates.
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The Miscellaneous Works Of the late Reverend and Learned Conyers Middleton, D. D. Principal Library o the University of Cambridge. In Five Volumes. The Second Edition.

MIDDLETON (Conyers) 5 volumes. 8vo, 200 x 118 mms., pp. [x], [iii] v - cxix [cxx blank], [123] - 427 [428 blank]; [iv], xxix [xxx blank] [ - 31] - 456; [iv], 468; [iv], 408; [iv], 372 [373 - 468 Index], engraved portrait of Middleton as frontispiece (off-setting on title-page), contemporary calf, red leather labels; tops and bases of spines slightly chipped, front joints slightly creased, but a good set. The autogrpah and date "Tho: Wickins/ 1788" appear on the recto of the front free end-paper in each volume. Middleton (1683 - 1850) was unusual among scholars, philosophers, and many men of letters, being, as Horace Walpole related "immoderately fond of music, and was himself a performer on the violin," an accomplishment that elicited Richard Bentley's immoderate remark that "a fiddler" rather than a scholar. He and Bently crossed scholarly swords on various occasions. His impressive life of Cicero was published in 1741, but it was his A Free Inquiry into the Miraculous Powers (1749) that caused his reputation to suffer among his ecclesiastical colleagues. He was, as Brian Young remarks, "a thinker who was more than usually aware of the ambiguities at the core of his own heterodox assualt on the status of theological (and historical) orthodoxy in eighteenth century England" (Conyers Middleton: The Historical Consequences of Heterodoxy [2012]).
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Deism Self-refuted; Or an Examination of the Principles of Infidelity scattered throughout The different Works of Mons. Rousseau; In form of Letters. Translated from The Four Edition, printed at Paris, revised and corrected by the Author.

BERGIER (Nicolas-Sylvestre) FIRST ENGLISH TRANSLATION. 2 volumes. 12mo, 169 x 103 mms., pp. xii, 228; [3] 4 - 214 [215 contents, 216 Errata], contemporary marbled boards (worn), sheepskin spines, with gilt numbering lables; edges of boards slightly worn and wormed, but a very good set in a rather uncommon binding style for the period. Bergier (1718 - 1790) published Le déisme réfute par lui-même in 1765, and the fourth edition, the text used for this translation, was published in 1769. The unknown translator might have been established at Aberdeen University, as the library there has four copies of this work. He is probably a Roman Catholic, as he makes note of some of the differences of opinion between Protestants and Catholics, and remarks, "Some of myu Protestant acquaintance, who were so kind as to encourage me in undertaking the following translation for the sake of our common Christianity." Towards the end of his preface there is a allusion to a famous phrase in David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature, when the translator comments that the "only weapons they [deists] make use of, are misrepresentation, and sophisms: that they appeal more to the passions than to reason, which they pretend to take for their only guide." The passage from the Treatise that I think is being alluded to is this: "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them." ESTC T119559 locates ten copies in UK libraries, including the four at Aberdeen; in North American, the work is found in Duke, Ohio, St. Louis University; and McGill; there is also a copy in the Veech Library at the Catholic Institute of Sydney.
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A Tale of the Times. By the Author of A Gossip’s Story. Dedicated, by permission, to Mrs. Carter.

WEST (Jane)] FIRST DUBLIN EDITION. 2 volumes. 12mo, 169 x 95 mms., pp. iv [5] 6 - 260 [261 - 262 half-titles]; [3] 4 - 250 [251 - 252 adverts], contemporary mottled sheepskin, later reback, with gilt ruels on spines, black leather labels. A very good set. The leaf at the end of volume 1 is a half-title for that volume on the recto and on the verso a half-title for volume 2. This is the first time I've encountered that phenomenon, but it seems abundant proof, if any were needed, that the half-titles were instructions for the binder, and not necessarily an integral part of the book. "West's reputation in her own day was for the clear didacticism of her texts. It was reported that Queen Charlotte purchased her novels, and Bishop Percy, who had praised West's writing and character in the British Critic (1801), complained of his delay in obtaining a copy of A Tale of the Times from the circulating libraries at Brighton owing to its popularity" (ODNB). In English Feminists and Their Opponents in the 1790s: Unsex'd and Proper Females (2002), William Stafford comments that this antijacobin novel displays its "political agenda.clearly.: lack of respect for female chastity and filial obedience is explicitly connected with revolution and natural ruin. The novel is politically conservative, but mildly socially progressive in its hostility to snobbery and over-rigid social distinctions, its critique of the privilege who abdicate from their responsibilities towards the poor, [and] its implied critique of primogeniture." Raven, James , Antonia Forster, Peter Garside, Rainer Schöwerling; with the assistance of Stephen Bending, Christopher Skelton-Foord and Karin Wünsche, The English Novel 1770 - 1829: A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction Published in the British Isles (OUP 2000), 1799; 95.
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Cantici Solomonis Paraphrasis gemina; Priorvario Carminum genere, altera Sapphicis Veribus perscripta. Notis Criticis & Philologicis illustrata. Auctore Joanne Kerro Dunbalnensi, Graecarum Literarum in Collegio Regio Universitatis Abendonensis Professore.

SONG OF SOLOM0N. KER (John) FIRST AND ONLY EDITION. 8vo, 175 x 104 mms., pp. [xvi], 96, contemporary red roan, gilt panels within gilt borders on coves, spine ornately gilt in compartments, all edges gilt; spine darkened, front joint rubbed, corners a bit worn, but a good to very good copy. Lowndes notes, "The poem is dramatically divided and arranged -- one of the version is a kind of irregular verse, the other in sapphic numbers. Ker in a preface gives some account of the opinions entertained of the Song, and of the attempts which have been made to translated it--Orme." John Ker (c. 1690 - 1741) became the first professor of Greeek appointed at King's College, Aberdeen. ODNB notes that "The volume also contained Arthur Johnson's paraphrase of the same biblical text, dedicated to Charles Edward Stuart as king of Great Britain. Both works were reprinted in 1739, together with a number of original Latin poems, some with similar dedications, by Patrick Adamson, William Barclay, Robert Boyd, George Eglisham, Arthur Johnston, John Johnston, and William Hogg in an anthology, Poetarum Scotorum musae sacrae, edited by William Lauder. Ker's strong Jacobite sympathies seem to have been no barrier to higher academic appointments, for on 2 October 1734 he succeeded Adam Watt as professor of Latin at Edinburgh University." William Lowndes: British Librarian: Or Book Collectors Guide. (1742), no. 374
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The Travels of Cyrus. To which is annexed, a Discourse upon the Theology and Mythology Of the Ancients. The Fifth Edition much enlarged.

RAMSAY (Andrew Michael, "The Chevalier") 12mo, 160 x 84 mms. pp. [ii] - xxx, 274, 84, 19th-century Riviere-style binding in half blue calf, spine gilt in compartments with Masonic images (including the sun with emanating rays and the square with compasses), red morocco label, marbled boards; spine slightly faded but a very good copy with the Masonic bookplate of the "Supreme Council" on the front pastedown endpaper, ownership signature and date, "Frederick Ekins / 1790" on recto of second front free endpaper, with notes in pencil on Ramsay and this book in an early hand ("The Chevalier Ramsay was Tutor to the Pretender", and "Bishop Beverley said this is the finest written Book in the English Language"), and on the verso of the leaf before the title a stamped coat of arms above the name "John Glas Sandeman" in blackletter script. Although Ramsay was born in Ayr, Scotland, in 1686, he spent most of his life in France; an ardent Jacobite, he was befriended by the Stuart pretender. This book proved to be one of the most successful books published in the 18th century and was translated into German, Italian, Spanish and Greek before the end of the century. Ramsay's intellectual debts can be traced to Fenelon but primarily to Ralph Cudworth's True Intellectual System of the Universe. John Laird, in Hume's Philosophy of Human Nature (1732) says that Hume's threefold division of reason "into (rational) `knowledge', (casual or experimental `proofs' and (conjectural) `probabilities'" derives from Ramsay, and adds that Andrew Baxter in his Enquiry into the Nature of the Human Soul cites the relevant passage from Ramsay's work. Hume met Ramsay in 1737 when he was in Paris. Ramsay's Travels of Cyrus was a best-selling book of the eighteenth century. This lifetime edition from 1736, however, is distinctly rare, the online ESTC finding only BL and Oxbridge for institutional libraries in the United Kingdom, plus two copies under the care of the National Trust, so presumably at country seats. Outside the UK, the ESTC finds only three copies anywhere: Cornell, Duke, and the University of Houston.
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Familiar Letters Between the Principal Characters in David Simple, And Some Others, To which is added, A Vision. By the Author of David Simple.

FIELDING (Sarah)] FIRST AND ONLY DUBLIN EDITION. 2 volumes in 1. 12mo, 169 x 95 mms., pp. [ii] iii - viii - 146 [147 - 148 adverts]; [2] 3 - 184, contemporary calf, raised banks, red morocco label; a few abrasions to covers, but a very good copy, with what is probably the first owner's autograph and date on the veros of the front free end-paper: "Hen. Moore/1747." Of the first edition published in London in 1747, Clive Probyn writes, "Familiar Letters between the Principal Characters of David Simple and Others. included biographical remarks in a preface and letters 40–44, all written by her brother, as well as two dialogues (2.276–93) supplied by James Harris. Its 500 subscribers included Sarah's cousin Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, William Warburton, and Samuel Richardson." A recent biography by Christopher D. Johnson, A Political Biography of Sarah Fielding (2017) draws attention to its merits: "Familiar Letters is less novelistic than its original and cloeser to an epistolary moral essays. Familiar Letters shows few signs of a slapdash production written for money. Instead, it is a thoughtful, coherent exploration of many of the ideas developed in her previous writings and reveals her to be an ethical, principled writer more committed to useful instruction than pecuniary self-interest." ESTC N9649 locates copies in BL and Cambridge in these islands; Dalhousie, New York, and Arizona in North America.