BUTLER Samuel (1663)


Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.

The First Part. Written in the time of the late Wars.

Second Authorized Edition. 12mo., [2], 125, [1] pp., woodcut laurel wreath on the title-page. Slight staining around the edges of the title-page and the first few leaves, foxing to the bank endpapers, occasionally a little closely shaved at the head and foot (occasionaly just touching a catchword). Contemporary mottled calf, covers ruled in gilt with a small tool in each corner, smooth spine divided by later gilt rules, later label, mottled edges (upper repaired, lower joint just starting to crack, corners bumped, later label, upper headcap a littled ragged).

London: by J.G. for Richard Marriot,

Wing B6301.

Bound with]:

Hudibras. The Second Part. By the Author of the First.

Second Authorized Edition. 12mo., 125, [3] pp., with both blanks, the imprimatur leaf and title-page woodcut. Foxing to the final couple of leaves.

London: by T.R. for John Martyn, and James Allestry, 1664.

Wing B6310.

A handsome copy of Butler's celebrated -and much pirated - poem which attacked the Puritan and Presbyterian factions involved in the Civil War. Pepys was less than convinced though, and tried "twice or three times [...] to think it witty" but to no avail (Diary,28th November, 1663.

Provenance: 1: Lady Rachael (Wriothesley) Vaughan (1637-1723), styled Lady Vaughan 1653-69; inscription in a contemporary hand on the recto of the front flyleaf reading "For the right honble the Lady Vaughan and "For the Lady Vaughan" in (apparently) another contemporary hand within the woodcut laurel wreath on the title. Lady Vaughan's father was Thomas Wriothesley, 4th Earl of Southampton who raised his daughter in an intellectually stimulated environment at Titchfield, Hampshire. In 1653 when she married Francis Vaughan, styled Lord Vaughan, son and heir apparent of Richard, 2nd Earl of Carbery. Her marriage meant she spent much of her time in the "stimulating cultural and intellectual environment" of Golden Grove in Wales. Golden Grove was the home of the Earl and his third wife Alice Egerton. The Earl was patron to a number of poets (Butler was, for a short period, steward to the Earl at Ludlow Castle where Butler perhaps wrote the first part ofHudibras)and the Grove was also home to the chaplain Jeremy Taylor. Lord Vaughan ("a conspicuous profligate even in that court" - Cockayne) died on 7 March 1667 and Lady Vaughan, now wealthy, married 2ndly on 20 August 1669 Hon. William Russell, styled Lord Russell from 1678 and heir to the Duke of Bedford. A leading proponent of moves to exclude the Catholic Duke of York from the succession he was arrested for his part in the so-called Rye House Plot and executed on 21 July 1683. Although it is tempting to imagine that this may be a presentation copy from Butler to Lady Vaughan but the scholar Peter Beale is unconvinced about the handwriting despite the family association. 2: "Wm. Tyler's", signature at the head of the front flyleaf, perhaps William Tyler (d.1801), sculptor, architect and one of the founders of the Royal Academy. 3: Rev. Philip Bliss (1787-1857), antiquary and book collector, Bliss' usual ownership mark "P" by the printed signature "B" with a purchase date of 1855, and purchase note on the front flyleaf "of Lilly 1855"; various sales, Sotheby, 1858, lot 669 [catalogue cutting on the front pastedown "presentation copy to the Lady Vaughan"]. 4: William Gott (1797-1863), Yorkshire wool merchant, with purchase note on the rear pastedown "od/x Dr Bliss' sale / no 669, 1858"; by descent to his son John Gott (1830-1906), Vicar of Leeds and Bishop of Truro, engraved armorial bookplate on the front pastedown; the Gott books were sold by Sotheran's in 1907,Bibliotheca Prestiosa, item 142 (£10/10/-) described as with an inscription "probably" by the author.

A loosely inserted copy of a letter from a disappointed catalogue enquirer to Quaritch (November, 1982) proves that the inscription still remained tantalizing (if not proven) over a hundred years after the Bliss sale.

Stock Code: 62682

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