Philadelphia: Printed for Thomas Dobson, 1787. First American edition of Moore with the second printing Langhorne's poem "Fables of Flora," which first appeared in 1784. Fables of Flora with a separate fly-title and advertisement. Binding extremities light rubbbed. Crown of spine worn away less than 1/4." Small chip to tail of spine. Gilt lettering slightly faded. Front and rear hinges cracked, but sound. Light foxing and toning. The occasional minor stain. Contemporary pencil inscription to recto of front flyleaf and contemporary ink signature to verso of terminal blank. A very good, copy of a scarce book. Contemporary sheep with gilt-lettered spine. Twelvemo. 144 pp. Item #16317
Edward Moore (1712-1757) was a playwright and writer. His first published work was the libretto to William Boyce's best-known composition Solomon: a serenata (1743), a musical setting to the song of Solomon. His first play, The Foundling: A Comedy (1748), was acted at the Theatre Royal. Initially published anonymously in May 1774, Moore's Fables for the Female Sex (the uniform title of Fables for the Ladies) had its third edition by 1746 and at least sixteen other editions in the eighteenth century, four of which were American; it was translated into French in 1764 and German in 1772. Influenced by John Gay, the sixteen verse fables, three of which were contributed by Henry Brooke, the author of Gustavus Vasa.
John Langhorne (1735-1779) was a poet and translator, largely remembered for his translation of Plutarch's Lives (Oxford DNB). According to an advertisement in Fables of Flora, "In the following poems, the Plan of Fable is enlarged, and the province extended. To the original Narrative and Moral are added imagery, description, and sentiment. The scenery is formed in a department of Nature more adapted to the genius and disposition of Poetry; where she finds new objects, interests, and connexions, to exercise her fancy and her power" (p. 106).