London, South Kensington
8 October 1999
[BOYLE, Robert.] Occasional reflections upon several subjects, London: by W. Wilson for Henry Herringman, 1665. 8, title in red and black (imprimatur leaf and title slightly frayed at outer margin, earlier leaves dampstained at margins, N4 holed at lower corner), contemporary calf (rebacked). Provenance: PRESENTATION COPY, front free endpaper inscribed: "Ex dono nobiliss. Authoris".
FIRST EDITION. Largely written when Boyle was a young squire at Stalbridge, much given to riding, walking and angling, this is his most accessible and in modern times his most reprinted work. Boyle's florid style was parodied by Swift in his Occasional Meditations on a Broomstick, and it is often stated that Reflection II of Section VI on "The Eating of Oysters" (p. 194) gave birth to Gulliver's Travels. Section IV "treats of Angling Improv'd to Spiritual uses". Fulton Boyle 64; Wing B4005; W. & S. p. 40; Petit 261.
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