The Speaker: or, Miscellaneous Pieces, selected from the best English Writers, and disposed under proper heads, with a view to facilitate the Improvement of Youth in Reading and Speaking. To which is prefixed an Essay on Elocution.

London: Printed for Joseph Johnson, 1774. First edition of one of the most popular books on elocution of the period, with an essay on the proper method and style, and a fine selection of pieces for declamation, many from Enfield's contemporaries (quite a few of them published by Joseph Johnson) such as Mrs. Barbauld, Price, Goldsmith, Sterne, Dr. Johnson, and others, but with a large and impressive selection from Shakespeare, especially in the section labelled “Pathetic Pieces.” Macbeth, Hamlet, Antony, Lear, Othello, and Henry V all make their appearances in passages that remain among the most famous in all Shakespeare. Alston gives a good idea of the work’s popularity, citing over thirty separate editions up to 1800. This first edition, however, is remarkably scarce: ESTC lists eight copies in North America. First and last leaves just a little edge-browned from the old binding turn-ins, but a large and attractive copy. Elegantly bound by Philip Dusel in polished and sprinkled calf antique, spine fully gilt with a morocco label. Octavo. xxxii, 376pp. Item #7708

Alston, Bibliography of the English Language, 375.

Price: $950.00

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