8 December 2015
[POPE, Alexander]. Several copies of Verses on occasion of Mr. Gulliver’s Travels. Never before printed. London: Benj. Motte, .
8° (195 x 118mm). (Some spotting to last leaf, without half-title and final blank.) Early 20th-century green boards backed in cloth.
FIRST SEPARATE EDITION, EARLY ISSUE without the fifth poem. These superb poems, sharing so fully in Swift’s imaginative fiction, were printed by William Bowyer in 1000 copies, and published 6 May 1727. As Norman Ault explains (TE Poems. vi. 266-7), Pope became such an enthusiastic reader of Gulliver’s Travels after its publication on 28 October 1726 that he initially wrote three poems on various characters in it, “To Quinbus Flestrin, the Man Mountain,” an ode in suitably short lines “by Titty Tit, Esq: Poet Laureat to his Majesty of Lilliput”; “To Mr. Lemuel Gulliver, the Grateful Address of the Unhappy Houyhnhnms”; and Mary Gulliver’s “tenderly-complaining epistle” to Captain Lemuel Gulliver. These were sent to Swift in February 1727 with the suggestion that they be printed in the next edition. Another poem, “The Lamentation of Glumdalclitch, for the Loss of Grildrig,” possibly written in collaboration with John Gay, increased the number to four before their appearance in the second edition of the Travels and here as a separate work. Pope finally wrote a fifth poem, “The Words of the King of Brobdingnag”, which was at once set in type, printed by itself on a quarto sheet, and then inserted in unsold copies of both publications. Foxon S356; Griffith 187; Rothschild 1592; Teerink 1224.
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