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SHAW, Cuthbert (1738/9–1771). Monody to the Memory of a Young Lady. London: Bensley and son for J. Chapell, 1816.
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SHAW, Cuthbert (1738/9–1771). Monody to the Memory of a Young Lady. London: Bensley and Son for J. Chapell, 1816.

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SHAW, Cuthbert (1738/9–1771). Monody to the Memory of a Young Lady. London: Bensley and Son for J. Chapell, 1816.

4º (220 x 140mm). PRINTED ON VELLUM. Engraved plate on India paper by James Stow after Richard Westall, engraved mourning Cupid at end. (Spotting to half-title, occasional light spotting to margins.) Contemporary straight-grained blue morocco, filleted and scrollwork border in gilt, inner palmette border in blind, spine directly lettered and with repeated urn device, gilt edges (rubbed at corners and ends of spine).

First published in 1768 upon the death of the author's young wife, Shaw’s Monody was a successful example of Georgian funeral poetry, reaching its fourth edition by 1779. The work was still being avidly read in the early 19th century. In the eyes of one reader ‘the variety of his composition evinces the versatility of his genius … The exquisite tenderness which runs through the whole of the Monody, renders it one of the most affecting poems in the English language’ (Barton, The Mirror of Poesy, London 1826, p. 286). However, there is no record of the present edition in COPAC which suggests that it may have been limited to a very few copies on vellum.
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