Miscellaneous Poems. Elizabeth Cheek.
Miscellaneous Poems

Miscellaneous Poems

Manchester: Printed at the Office of W. Shelmerdine and Co., [1800?]. First edition. Date from ESTC, though Jackson notes the date as 1801 in Romantic Poetry by Women. Elizabeth Cheek is sometimes credited as the editor of this collection. We can’t confirm the attribution, though the gendered language in the preface to the present work implies that the editor was indeed a woman (pp. iii-iv). The collection includes poems by at least a few women: “a Lady” (p. 47), “Miss Ann S—” (p. 85), and others. With a list of about 300 subscribers and with a folding table listing the traits found in people with sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic dispositions. Also with woodcut tailpieces throughout, sometimes credited to Thomas Bewick (ESTC). Cracking to lower hinge. Front hinge a bit tender. Blue marbled endpapers with small twentieth century bookplate on front pastedown. Some toning and creasing to fore-edge of table and contemporary ink signature on verso of table.
Contemporary inscription on preliminary blank reads: “Fatherhood should not have a free circulation uncontradicted.” Some light toning and some very light scattered foxing, but overall a very good, clean copy of a scarce book. Contemporary tree calf with gilt floral roll and gilt spine. Twelvemo. 144 pp., [1] errata. Item #16736

The table of the temperaments is a curious feature of this book: the humors don’t seem to be relevant to the poems themselves, though perhaps the table was included to supplement the author’s foreword on the nature of poetic genius (pp. v-vii). A second curious aspect is that the errata page notes that the references in “Wizard of the Rock” (pp. 23-37) to the River Derwent in Derbyshire, England should actually read as “Schuylkill,” seemingly referring to the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania. Elizabeth Cheek was the daughter of the Methodist preacher and missionary Nicholas Mosley Cheek (1745-1805).

ESTC lists copies of the present book at the British Library, Harvard, and the Huntington. OCLC lists additional copies at UCLA and Stanford. Jackson, p. 70 (Collections 14).

Price: $1,500.00

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