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ANTIQUARIAN BOOK

Poems on Several Occasions.

HUGHES (John).

HUGHES (John).

Poems on Several Occasions With Some Select Essays in Prose in Two Volumes. Adorn'd with Sculptures.

Engraved frontispiece portrait of Hughes by G. Vander Gucht after Kneller and five plates by Vander Gucht. Woodcut head and tail pieces.

First Edition. Two volumes. 12mo. Large paper copy. [207 x 124 x 61 mm]. [10]ff, lxxv, [i], 275 pp; 364 pp. Bound c.1860 by Francis Bedford (signed with an ink pallet on front endleaf) in full polished calf, the covers with a gilt triple fillet border. The spines divided into six panels with bands and gilt compartments, lettered in the second on a red goatskin label and numbered in the third on a green label, the others with a centre tool of two birds atop a cup surrounded by sprigs, flowers, stars etc, the edges of the boards tooled with a gilt double fillet, the turn-ins with gilt rolls, marbled endleaves, top edge gilt, the others uncut.
London: for J. Tonson and J. Watts, 1735.

The plates are included in the pagination. This is a very fine copy on large, or royal, paper, with untrimmed edges in an almost pristine binding by Francis Bedford.

There is an 11pp list of "Subscribers to the Royal Paper of Mr. Hughes's Works", with 372 copies accounted for. Names of note include Alexander Pope, The Reverend Dr Swift Dean of St. Partick's and Monsieur De Voltaire.

John Hughes (1677-1720) died on the opening night of his tragedy The Siege of Damascus. His works were published posthumously and edited, with a long biographical preface, by his brother-in-law William Duncombe. They include a number of songs and odes, an opera, Calypso and Telemachus, Imitations of Horace, "Advice to Mr Pope, on his Intended Translation of Homer's Iliad", and prose pieces such as "On the Affliction of Mirth and Raillery", "On Fear in Women" and "On Love". Swift was surprised to be listed amongst the subscribers and wrote to Pope: "A month ago was sent over, by a friend of mine, the works of John Hughes Esquire. They are in prose and verse. I never heard of the man in my life, yet I find your name as a subscriber. He is too grave a poet for me; and I think among the mediocribus, in prose as well in verse". Pope replied: "To answer your question as to Mr Hughes, what he wanted in genius, he made up as an honest man; but he was of the class you think him".

From the library of Edward James at West Dean. Bought by Holleyman & Treacher at the West Dean sale 1987 and sold to John Porter for £300. With Porter's booklabel.

Stock no. ebc3843

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Price: £750

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