Publisher: London: Printed for T. Cadell, 1789; London: Printed for John Bell, 1788; London: Printed for T. Cadell, Junior, and W. Davies, 1797.
Edition: Fifth edition of the first volume of Elegiac Sonnets; first edition of volume two of Elegiac Sonnets; the first edition of The Poetry of Anna Matilda.
Bibliographical References: NCBEL II, 684 (Smith) and 831 (Cowley); Jackson, Romantic Poetry by Women, pages 300-301, 1 (f) & 3 (a) (Smith); Jackson, page 89, 5 (Cowley). And for Cowley, see J. E. Norton "Some Uncollected Authors XVI," The Book Collector, Spring 1958.
Condition: Edges a little rubbed, but a fine copy in contemporary state.
Book ID: 28218
Description3 vols in 2, contemporary tree calf, marbled paper endpapers, orange morocco spine labels, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, gilt lettering. Five plates in the first volume of Elegiac Sonnets; frontis portrait and four plates in the second volume of Elegiac Sonnets. Half-titles to each volume present. The two Smith volumes have list of subscribers.
CommentsThe complete Elegiac Sonnets by Charlotte Smith, originally published with the help of poet William Hayley and dedicated to him. It was Smith's first book and her most often reprinted. This fifth edition contains 48 sonnets and four poems, prefaces to editions one through four and a new preface to this edition. Volume II of Elegiac Sonnets was published as a sequel to the fifth edition and contains the first appearance of 24 sonnets and 15 poems. Hannah Cowley's The Poetry of Anna Matilda was a pseudonymously written sequence of poems about a mutual infatuation between her and another man, Robert Merry, a member of the legendary Della Crusca circle, whom she had met only once. "Her poems to Robert Merry . . . caused a small flutter in literary circles . . . and the author's identity was made the subject of much mystification" - Norton. Small modern book label of J. O. Edwards on the front paste-downs.