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Price: £510.00

  

Leonora.

Translated from the German of Gotffried Augustus Brgher, by W. R. Spencer, Esq.

1796 - London - J. Edwards, and E. and S. Harding

14.5" and 10.5", 35pp plus plates

 

DETAILS

An uncommon first English edition of Leonora by W. R. Spencer.

Rebound in paper-covered boards.

First English Edition.

Uncommon.

An exceptional copy of these exceptional illustrations.

Illustrated by Lady Diana Beauclerc.

William Robert Spencer, 1769 1834, was an English poet and wit. He was educated at Harrow School and Christ Church, University of Oxford but left without receiving a degree. Spencer's wit made him a popular member of society, and belonged to the Whig set of Charles James Fox and Sheridan. He was an accomplished writer of 'occasional' verse, which was warmly praised by Scott and Byron. He wrote graceful vers de socit, In 1796 he published an English version of Brger's Leonore, which was "highly thought of by Scott, and others", and in 1802 he burlesqued German romance in his Urania, which was produced on the stage at Drury Lane. After a life of extravagance Spencer died in poverty in Paris. (DNB)

Gottfried August Brger, 1747 1794, was a German poet. Originally a student of theology, Brger abandoned this for the study of jurisprudence. His lifestyle was considered wild, however he befriended men of literary tastes and by 1771 was already a popular poet. Brger became distract magistrate, but later gave up the post. He had a misadventure with farming, and instead established himself as where he established himself as Privatdozent. In 1787 he was given an honorary doctor of philosophy, from Gttingen University, and in 1789 was appointed extraordinary professor in that faculty. Brger's talent for popular poetry was very considerable and his ballads are among the finest in the German language.

Lady Diana Beauclerk, 1734 1808, was an English noblewoman and artist. She was introduced to art at an early age and Joshua Reynolds, an artist, was a family friend. She married Frederick St John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke in 1757, and from 17621768 was lady of the bedchamber to Queen Charlotte. Her marriage was unhappy and Bolingbroke was notoriously unfaithful. In February of 1768 he petitioned for divorce on grounds of adultery. Within two days she married Topham Beauclerk of Old Windsor. Their circle of friends included Samuel Johnson, Georgiana Cavendish, Edward Gibbon, David Garrick, Charles Fox, James Boswell and Edmund Burke. Beauclerk illustrated a number of literary productions, including Horace Walpole's tragedy The Mysterious Mother, the English translation of Gottfried August Brger's Leonora and The Fables of John Dryden.

CONDITION

The binding is tight and firm. There is almost no wear to the extremities. Internally the pages have some very slight browning, with the occasional spot. Overall the condition is very good.

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Price: £510.00


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