Lot 250 of 429:
Matthew Prior Poems on Several Occasions   

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Poems on Several Occasions

Prior, Matthew


Jacob Tonson



[40], [1]-506, [6] pp. Engraved frontispiece and vignette title page. (Folio) 44x27 cm (17¼x10½"), early calf-backed boards, gilt spine; marbled endpapers and edges. First Collected Edition.

A large-paper copy of one of the greatest 18th-century books of English poetry. 

Among the most important English poets of the early 18th century, Matthew Prior (1664-1721) was also a diplomat whose actions at the behest of the English people were pivotal in bringing about the Peace of Utrecht. In the case of the present volume, this historical fact takes on special significance, as “during the latter part of June 1711 Robert Harley, now earl of Oxford and lord treasurer, asked that Prior be sent to France along with Abbé François Gaultier, the French priest who was serving similarly as a secret negotiator for the opposite side…where Prior entered into negotiations with Jean Baptiste Colbert, marquis de Torcy, his friendly acquaintance from his previous mission in Paris over a decade before” (DNB). Wise, Ashley Library, 5238. Ebert 17934. Foxon 6641.

Lot Amendments

General light wear to calf, rubbing to extremities, joints cracked; some rubbing to endpapers, offsetting to title page, scattered light foxing; very good.

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