8 December 2015
SWIFT, Jonathan – PILKINGTON, Matthew. Poems on Several Occasions … with several poems not in the Dublin edition. Revised by the Reverend Dr. Swift. London: T. Woodward, Charles Davis and W. Bowyer, 1731.
8° (196 x 118mm). Engraved frontispiece by Vertue. (Occasional light soiling.) Contemporary mottled calf, covers with double gilt fillets, gilt spine panels and morocco label, red edges (label chipped, spine slightly chipped at head, upper joints cracked but firm). Provenance: Sir James Colquhoun of Luss (bookplate).
FIRST LONDON EDITION, printed by William Bowyer; his records show 750 copies printed. A “diminutive and poor Irish parson”, Pilkington married the notorious Laetitia in 1729, whose memoirs throw some light on Swift’s later years. His ingratiating preface formally thanks “the admired Doctor Swift” for correcting his poems, one of which was an “Ode” for the Birthday of George II, 30 October 1729. Swift’s mockery of this effusion, “Direction for a Birth-day Song, October 30, 1729,” is described by Ehrenpreis as “unfit for publication in his lifetime, but one of his most forthright, powerful lampoons” (Swift. iii. 640-1) Teerink 703; cf. Williams 459.
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