1788-1794 Autograph Letters By William Cowper
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An Important Work, With Letter
Comprising seven letters not issued in this printed work:
The first letter dated Nov 30 1788 at Weston 'Mr Dear Friend, you are probably wondering at my silence, but I can give you a satisfactory account of it. Your letter comparing the books with which you have favor'd me for which I return you a thousand thanks, though dated the 15th last did not arrive here till yesterday. Joshua witheld it in hope of being able to send me my MSS well fuselied, but after all his hopes proved frustrate. The box reach'd me between 4 & 5 when I was on the way to the Hall where we dined; I had therefore no opportunity to open it til 10 at night, but I have this morning dispatched the little parcel thither addressed to Mr Frog. You are very good to think of me whether in an Oyster Cellar or elsewhere...' The letter proceeds to discuss introducing the recipient to Mr Hill and speaks of Lady Hesketh. He also speaks of mourning daily for the king. Bound to volume II.
To volume III:
Letter to Samuel Rose Esq dated July 1791. In which Cowper discusses Johnson and how he wrote to him the day before regarding an offer relating to the publication of some of Cowper's writings. 'Is very likely that my new of Mr Johnsons first offer might be both preplex’d and infurious to Him'. Cowper goes on to say 'I am very well contented with his second offer..... I do not see how possibly be a loser by it...' Cowper goes on to discuss copyright and asks Rose for his advice on what to do regarding 'what to do with it'... 'Whether to keep it till the fortune of my work may be more probably conjectured, or whether to sell it now. Whether to dispose of the whole or to retain a share of it?' This letter is bound to page 11 of volume III.
Letter to Samuel Rose Esq dated Dec 1 1791. In this letter Cowper briefly mentions the poem he is working on 'I am now in the middle of the Manso, which is the last Latin poem but two..' He also discusses his plans for the Christmas Holidays. This letter is bound to page 23 of volume III.
Letter to Samuel Rose Esq dated Sep 22 1792. In this letter to Rose, Cowper discusses how behind on letters to dispatch he is. 'After our separation from you we paved our way with all defiance, stopping nowhere..'. He refers to 'Johnny in our last stage, was reized with a terrible cholic occasino'd by the Beef of Barney, which having drunk only a little wine after it, he could by no .. digest.' He goes on to discuss their trip.
Letter to Samuel Rose Esq dated Oct 5 1792. This letter discusses Cowper's friend and cousin Dr John Johnson, with whom Cowper spent the last of his life. He passes on a message to Rose from Johnson.
Letter to Samuel Rose Esq dated Sep 19 1793.
Letter to Samuel Rose Esq dated January 2nd 1794
Bound in is a catalogue for J Pearson's sale of 'A Catalogue of Rare, Interesting and Choice Autograph Letters and Manuscripts'. Bound in to volume III is a leaf from a catalogue of Autographs and Historical Documents on sale by John Wallace in 1886 which includes some of Cowper's letters.
Prior owner's annotations to pages 133, 365 of volume II altering the text to what is presumably its original written form.
These letters are bound in Cowper's 'The Life and Letters'. A New edition of the work, dated 1824.
Contemporary note to the recto of front endpaper, regarding a collection of letters sold at Sotheby's August 1872 of about 30 letters of Cowper to Rose. 'A few lots to private purchases - many to Waller - some fetching as much as 4 8s. One c... of sonnets by C. and half of a ... of le... for who got into .. for selling from pub of T Paine fetched 4 1/2 8 '
With the bookplate of one Simeon Warner to the front pastedown, with the inscription of a subsequent owner Peter Lethbridge.
With a frontispiece to volume I.
In full calf bindings. Rebacked, with the original boards preserved. Externally, very smart. Rubbing to the extremities, with small loss to the board edges. Bookplates to the front pastedowns, Internally, firmly bound. Pages are bright. Scattered spots to the first few leaves of volume I. The letters are very clean.
Very Good Indeed
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