Lot 15

CLARE, John (1793-1864). Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery, London, 1820, 12mo, half title, attractively bound in contemporary straight-grained morocco gilt. FIRST EDITION.

Estimate: £400 - £600
Hammer price: £350
Bidding ended. Lot has been sold.

CLARE, John (1793-1864).  Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery. By John Clare. A Northamptonshire Peasant. London: "Printed for Taylor and Hessey, Fleet Street; and E. Drury, Stamford," 1820. 12mo (166 x 100mm). Half title, glossary at the end comprising L1-[L3] (spot to front blank, half title and title, some very faintly mainly marginal spotting and staining, without the publisher's advertisements [L4-L8], as often). Attractively bound in contemporary straight-grained panelled burgundy morocco decorated in gilt and blind, gilt edges (joints and corners rubbed). Provenance: unidentified armorial bookplate with monogram [?]"H.L." and motto "Courage sans Peur"; "Lady Mary Lowther, 29th Feb. 1820, from Right Hon. [?illegible name]" (inscription on front free endpaper); "Taylor & Hessey Bookseller, Fleet Street" (blindstamp on rear endpaper). FIRST EDITION of the author's first published work. "The following Poems will probably attract some notice by their intrinsic merit; but they are also entitled to attention from the circumstances under which they were written. They are the genuine productions of a young Peasant, a day-labourer in husbandry, who has had no advantages of education beyond others of his class; and though Poets in this country have seldom been fortunate men, yet he is, perhaps, the least favoured by circumstances, and the most destitute of friends, of any that ever existed" (from the Introduction). Hayward English Poetry. A Descriptive Catalogue 236: "The poet's first book."

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