Poems by Mr. Gray. Thomas GRAY.

Poems by Mr. Gray.

London: J. Dodsley, 1768.

Octavo, with the rare half-title; contemporary ownership inscription on front flyleaf, in contemporary calf, preserved in a folding cloth case.

First edition, second issue with the contents at page 121. This is the first London edition and includes the famous 'Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard': 'a new beauty, and a music of its own' (CHEL).

First edition, second issue with the contents at page 121. This is the first London edition and includes the famous 'Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard': 'a new beauty, and a music of its own' (CHEL).
The Elegy was completed in 1750 and sent in manuscript to Walpole, who circulated it freely, causing a distressed Gray to send it to Dodsley for publishing to protect himself. Despite Dodsley's best efforts to deprive the poem of syntactical sense (replace 'awake' with 'asleep' Gray poignantly advised his printer), he produced several editions including this important collection.
This is the copy of the English politician and man of letters Augustine Birrell, who famously once said "Good as it is to inherit a library, it is better to collect one".

Rothschild, 1071.

Price (AUD): $750.00  other currencies     Ref: #2408188

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