Poems on Several Occasions. A New Edition. [Bound with:] Scotish Descriptive Poems; With Some Illustrations of Scotish Literary Antiquities.

  • Bruce, Michael; [John Leyden, ed.]
  • Edinburgh: Printed by John Paterson; Printed by and for Mundell & Son 1796
  • ESTC T144079 (Bruce).

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Description

8vo, pp. xxii, [ii], 175, [1], vi, [ii], 255, [1]. Modern dark calf, spine divided by raised bands between gilt rules, red morocco label, edges sprinkled blue. Just a touch of soiling. Spine sunned, boards somewhat scratched.

Notes

A pair of collections of Scottish poetry bound together, both published around the turn of the 19th century but looking back to centuries prior. The first collects the work of the short-lived 'poet of Lochleven', Michael Bruce (1746-1767). Originally edited and seen through the press by Bruce's schoolfriend, John Logan in 1770, this edition reprints that selection along with several others from manuscripts recovered from Logan by Bruce's family. Logan had proven duplicitous by appropriating several of Bruce's works as his own, most notably Ode to A Cuckoo, published by Logan under his name in 1781, and here restored to the pantheon of Bruce's compositions.
The second is an anthology edited by John Leyden (1775-1811), whose rather extraordinary life included collating editions for Richard Heber, assisting Walter Scott in collecting material for the 'Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders', being appointed to edit the Edinburgh Magazine, and becoming a surgeon in Madras (sailing there shortly after this volume was published), a naturalist in Mysore, a professor of Hindustani in Calcutta, and a judge, before contracting a fever while accompanying the governer-general in Java and dying there shortly before his 36th birthday. His facility with Eastern languages, acquired while he should have been studying theology, was thus something of a mixed blessing. The second poem in this volume, 'Albania', was printed from the sole surviving manuscript, lent to Leyden by James Beattie.

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