108F Edmund Waller 1606-1687


Poems, &c. Written upon several Occasions, And to several Persons: By Edmond Waller, Esq; Licensed, May 18, 1686. Roger L’Estrange. The Fifth Edition, with several Additions Never before Printed. Non ego mordaci distrinxi carmine quenquam, Nulla venenato littera Mista ioco est.

[London] Printed for H. Herringman, and are to be sold by J. Knight and F. Saunders at the Blew Anchor in the Lower Walk of the New Exchange, 1686                $1,800

Octavo 4.25 x 6.75 inches A4, B-T8, V10 (final blank V10). Fifth edition.

This copy is in good condition internally. The full calf binding is newly rebacked . The edge coloring is from the seventeenth century, indicates that the edges have not been trimmed since that date. The book plate of John Jackson 1875 is pasted on the inside of the front board. This is a very nice copy, clean and strong.

Waller was deeply involved in a royalist plot in 1643 to take the city of London in the name of King Charles. We was subsequently imprisoned in the tower, banished from parliament, fined, and exiled, barely escaping execution. He was readmitted to the house of commons in 1651 where he appeared a different style of man than the Edmund Waller of the 1630’s. He consistently argued against military despotism, and in favor of tolerance for dissenters, and quakers in particular.“It is certain that the poems of Edmund Waller had been in circulation in manuscript some considerable time before their first publication. His lines on the escape of Charles (then Prince of Wales) from drowning, near Santander, though subsequently retouched, were probably written in or about the time of the event which they celebrate; but it was not until 1645 that the first edition of his poems was published. In spite of this, his reputation was already so well established that Denham wrote of him in ‘Cooper’s Hill’ (1642) as ‘the best of poets,’ and it is probable that no writer, in proportion to his merits ever received such ample recognition from his contemporaries. Waller will always live as the author of ‘Go, lovely rose,’ the lines ‘On a Girdle,’ and ‘Of the Last Verses in the Book.’” (DNB)

Wing W-517; Wither to Prior # 931 ; Arber’s Term cat.; II 189