“SINCE THERE’S NO HELP, COME LET US KISS AND PART”: 1748 FIRST FOLIO EDITION OF DRAYTON’S COMPLETE COLLECTED WORKS, PRESENTED BY JOHN DRINKWATER TO FELLOW POET AUGUSTINE BIRRELL
DRAYTON, Michael. The Works. London: J. Hughs, 1748. Folio, contemporary tree calf rebacked, raised bands. $3600.
First folio edition of Drayton’s collected works, handsomely bound. Presentation copy from poet and playwright John Drinkwater to fellow poet Augustine Birrell, with an additional signed letter from Birrell laid in.
Drayton (1563-1631) was a popular contemporary of Shakespeare and a close friend of many of the finest poets of the time. “There is no direct evidence to show that Shakespeare and Drayton were personal friends, but there is strong traditional evidence. The Rev. John Ward, sometime vicar of Stratford-on-Avon, states in his manuscript note-book that ‘Shakespear, Drayton, and Ben Jonson had a merry meeting, and it seems, drank too hard, for Shakespear died of a feavour there contracted” (DNB). This collection includes The Barons Warres, Englands Heroicall Epistles and the sonnet series, Idea. The first collection of Drayton’s poems was published in 1605; this is the first complete edition of his collected works. With John Drinkwater’s ownership signature dated 1915 on the title page; his gift inscription and letter presenting the book to Birrell are dated 1922. Armorial bookplate.
Interior clean and fine. A handsome copy with fine poetic association.