Publisher: London: Printed for J. Dodsley, 1781.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: ESTC T42730 records eight locations: Birmingham, British Library (four copies), Cambridge (two copies), Harvard, Kent State, New York Public, Chicago, and Yale; Jackson, Romantic Poetry by Women, page 129.
Condition: Edges a little rubbed; very good copy.
Book ID: 27991
Description4to, contemporary mottled calf rebacked, gilt rules and raised bands. Four-page list of subscribers.
CommentsAn impressive work of Biblical scholarship by poet and classics scholar Ann Francis (1738-1800), who begins her lengthy "Preliminary Discourse" by defending her position as a translator: "The following paraphrase of the Song of Solomon, which I now offer to the public, may perhaps be thought an improper undertaking for a woman: The learned may imagine its subject above the reach of my abilities; while the unlearned may incline to deem it a theme unfit for the exercise of a female pen." She elaborates on her intention to present the poem in English meter in its most literal sense - a poem which she describes as "ancient and intricate: . . . relished by few, understood by very few." "As to the nature of this poem, the learned have disagreed; some calling it a simple pastoral, other a sublime allegory, others an epithalamium." Over half of the 100 pages of the text of are scholarly and explanatory notes by Francis. See the DNB online. Contemporary ownership initials on the front free endpaper and title-page.