Amatory Poems, with Translations and Imitations from Ancient Amatory Authors.

  • (Lyric Poetry)
  • London: Printed for J. Bell 1805

£250

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Description

FIRST EDITION, 8vo, pp. xv, [i], 64. Modern half morocco in perfect period style, marbled boards, spine divided by triple gilt rules, second compartment gilt-lettered direct, others with small central gilt tool. Some minor spotting, a few leaves creased. Gift inscription to half-title: ‘J. Ahern, the gift of his friend Wm. H. Sidell, 1827’.

Notes

A scarce volume of love lyrics including translations from Catullus and Ovid and imitations of epigrams from the Greek Anthology. The editor signs the preface 'I.I.M.' and describes the author as 'a native of another hemisphere' raised 'under the genial influence of a more southern sun', who was 16 on his first visit to Britain, and 19 at the time of publication - the same age as the editor. This has more than a whiff of literary invention, and in fact the Trinity College Dublin copy contains a manuscript note attributing the work to Eaton Stannard Barrett (1785-1820). This seems plausible: the year of birth agrees with the preface and Barrett - born and raised in County Cork - was also a precocious poet and satirist (and his comic gothic novel of 1813, The Heroine, was highly praised by Jane Austen and Edgar Allan Poe), the sort who might invent the personalities in this preface to frame his teenage love poetry. Library Hub and OCLC between them locate half a dozen copies: BL, Oxford, TCD, Kentucky, NYPL, and Library of Congress.

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