Item #1003630 A Poetical Dictionary; or, the Beauties of the English Poets, Alphabetically Displayed. Samuel Derrick, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, John Milton, John Dryden, John Gay, Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson.
A Poetical Dictionary; or, the Beauties of the English Poets, Alphabetically Displayed
A Poetical Dictionary; or, the Beauties of the English Poets, Alphabetically Displayed
A Poetical Dictionary; or, the Beauties of the English Poets, Alphabetically Displayed
A Poetical Dictionary; or, the Beauties of the English Poets, Alphabetically Displayed

A Poetical Dictionary; or, the Beauties of the English Poets, Alphabetically Displayed

London: Printed for J. Newbery, J. Richardson, S. Crowder, et al. 1761. Four twelvemo volumes bound in two, measuring 7.5 x 4.25 inches: xii, 288; [2], 244; [2], 276; [2], 252. Modern quarter-calf ruled in blind and lettered in gilt, marbled boards, uncut. Decorative typographic headpieces and tailpieces. Early library pressmarks in red ink to preliminary blanks of both volumes and title pages of Volumes I and III; occasional light foxing; edges darkened.

First edition of this absorbing miscellany of English poetry, thematically and alphabetically organized in the tradition of Edward Bysshe's popular Art of English Poetry (1702). Verses appear under headings from “Abbey” (a passage from the Elizabethan history play Thomas Lord Cromwell, attributed to Shakespeare) to “Zimri” (from Dryden's “Absalom and Achitophel”). Other headings include “Bees,” “Camera Obscura,” “Folly,” “Genius,” “Hops,” “Marriage,” “Player,” “Sloth,” and “Witch.” The verses under “Love,” covering forty-five pages, offer a brisk survey of every aspect of infatuation, passion, and regret, from Romeo and Juliet through Comus to The Rape of the Lock. Although the Poetical Dictionary was once attributed to Oliver Goldsmith, based on the prose style of the preface, the editorship of Samuel Derrick is now established. A failed actor and enterprising hack writer, Derrick was friendly with Samuel Johnson, whose massive 1755 Dictionary of the English Language looms over this lighter, sprightlier dictionary. ESTC T42700. A handsome set.

Price: $850.00