"FEW MEN CAN EVER HAVE HAD AS MUCH POETRY WITHIN THEM": DONNE’S POEMS, 1719, HANDSOMELY BOUND
DONNE, John. Poems on Several Occasions. London: J. Tonson, 1719. 12mo, late 18th-century full tan straight-grain morocco, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $3000.
Sixth edition of Donne’s Poems, with an account of the author’s life and elegies on his death. This copy with the title page ruled in red, and handsomely bound in fine near-contemporary straight-grain morocco.
"With Donne begins a new era in the history of the English love lyric, the full importance of which is not exhausted when one recognizes in Donne the source of the 'metaphysical' lyric" (Rosenbach). "Hardly an English poet of the first half of the 17th century was uninfluenced by some aspect of Donne's style with its dramatic openings, witty images, frequently colloquial tone, conversational rhythms, and awareness of variety in experience and in ideas" (An English Library, 120). "Few men can ever have had as much poetry within them as John Donne" (Baugh, 631). This sixth edition of Donne's verses (first collected for publication by his son in 1633) was the first to include a biography of the poet and preacher, based on Izaak Walton's famous account. "The 'Life' here printed is a condensation of Walton's life, which first appeared with the 1640 edition of the Sermons" (Keynes 85). Decorated with woodcut head- and tailpieces and initials; title page ruled in red. CBEL I:441. OCEL I:103. See also: Bibliotheca Anglo-Poetica 203; Lowndes, 660; Wither to Prior I:292. Engraved armorial bookplate of Hugh Reveley, of Christ Church, Oxford. Reveley (1772-1851?) came from a distinguished Welsh family, seated at Bryn Y Gwyn, Merionethshire. Reveley was named High Sheriff of Merioneth in 1811; he also served as secretary to Lord Redesdale (1748-1830), Lord Chancellor of Ireland and Speaker of the House of Commons. Both Hugh Reveley and his father Henry (1737-98) were collectors of drawings; their collection descended to Hugh's son Hugh John Reveley.
A lovely copy with a nice provenance in fine condition.