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The Adventures of a cork-screw; in which under the pleasing method of a romance, the vices, follies and manners of the present age are exhibited and satirically delineated. Interspersed with striking anecdotes, characters and actions of persons in real life.



Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.

First Dublin edition. 12mo., [4],xii,iv,171,[1] pp. Small spot to lower margin of A2 (not touching text) and with some very light foxing in places, but otherwise agood, clean, crisp copy in contemporary calf (rebacked with a new spine, calf rubbed, joints split and corners bumped).

Dublin: printed for W. Whitestone [...],

ESTC recordsBritish Library and National Library of Ireland onlyin the U.K., andHuntington, McMaster University, Newberry and University of Minnesota onlyin North America.

A rare example of eighteenth-century 'object narrative' satire.

The first London edition of this work was published in 1775; ESTC records nine copies of the London edition making this Dublin printing, from the following year, the scarcer of the two.

The eighteenth-century saw a large number of so called 'object narratives' beginning with Charles Gildon'sThe golden spy(1709) and continuing with the adventures of pins, watches, Guineas, carriages and beds. Swift'sA tale of a tub(1704) has been seen as an important precursor and influence on this style of narrative.

In his essay on the object narrative, Christopher Flint describesThe adventures of a cork-screwas a 'particularly detailed example' of the genre (Christopher Flint, 'Speaking Objects: The Circulation of Stories in Eighteenth-Century Prose Fiction', 1998). In typical fashion the cork-screw, through numerous complicated interactions, is passed from owner to owner allowing the object to witness the various 'vices, follies and manners of the present age'. The cork-screw mixes with clergymen, fallen women and politicians as well as describing a rigged election, life in prison, and numerous other episodes.

Provenance: R. Lionel Foster, 19th-century bookplate (and inked shelf marks) to front pastedown and signature on fly leaf. Foster was a prominent collector of antique silver and, presumably, books. In 2008 Christie's sold his copy ofA Picturesque Tour Through Ireland(1824) which suggest - alongside this volume - that he may have had some connection to Ireland.

Stock Code: 61699