Maggs Bros Ltd

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.

ANONYMOUS (1776)

£750.00 

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