"POET LAUREATE FOR THE PATRIOT CAUSE": TWO POLITICAL PLAYS AND 18 POEMS BY AMERICA'S FOREMOST FEMALE REVOLUTIONARY
WARREN, Mercy. Poems, Dramatic and Miscellaneous. Boston: I. Thomas and E.T. Andrews, 1790. Octavo, contemporary full sheep, red morocco spine label. $4250.
First edition of an important collection of early American verse, dedicated to George Washington. An excellent copy in contemporary American sheep.
Mercy Otis Warren was a poet, an early feminist and a fierce proponent of the Revolutionary cause. "Possessing uncommon talent for literature and politics, and enjoying through both her husband and brother an enviable intimacy with those high in the Revolutionary councils of the province [of Massachusetts], she became in a manner the poet laureate and later historical apologist for the patriot cause" (DAB). She is credited with writing the first important historical work by an American woman, the History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution. Warren was on intimate terms with John and Abigail Adams and counted among her correspondents Samuel Adams, James Winthrop, John Dickinson, and Thomas Jefferson. Her literary works were highly regarded in her day, particularly her two verse plays included here, "The Sack of Rome" and "Ladies of Castle." These plays directly address the problem of liberty and portray the social and moral values that a new republic must protect if it is to survive—themes that dominate Warren's post-Revolution writings. Following only Anne Bradstreet and Phyllis Wheatley, Warren's book of poems—published when she was 62—is the third significant body of poetry to be published by an American woman. Evans 23035. Wegelin (Poetry) 417. Wegelin (Plays), 78.
A few spots or stains to generally clean text. Front joint expertly repaired, light restoration to corners of slightly bowed boards. An exceptionally good copy, scarce and quite desirable in contemporary American sheep binding.