London: Printed for Robinson and Roberts, No. 25, in Pater-noster Row, MDCCXLIX [but 1769]. First Edition. Full Calf. First Issue (with title page mis-dated 1749) of this satire of English politics during the Seven Years' War. 12mo: [iii]-viii,227,; [2 ],190pp. Half title in volume II only. A variant, with title page correctly dated [MDCCLXIX], is generally presumed (by Rothschild, for one) to be a later state. Newly bound by Fitterer in period-style speckled calf, spine in six compartments divided by raised bands ruled in gilt, green morocco letter piece gilt, top edge gilt, end papers renewed. A nearly pristine copy, the pages very lightly and evenly toned. Rothschild 1923. NCBEL II, p. 963. ESTC Citation No. T55310. Fine. Item #BB0596
Generally accepted to have been written by Smollett, but without conclusive proof of his authorship. "There is no reference to it in his letters or those of his correspondents, but it was attributed to him in the London Chronicle (8–11 April 1769). With echoes of the humour of Rabelais, it is a rumbustious, at times scatological, satire on British political life, transposed to Japan. [The 'atom' is the supposed narrator, a witness to the events and somehow able to communicate them to modern listeners. ] It may be that Smollett, sensing that his remaining days were few, revived his vituperative energies to target enemies, including Pitt, Cumberland, Mansfield, and Wilkes. If his, it was a pungent valediction. He took his leave of Hume in an affectionate letter of 31 August 1768 before going into ‘a perpetual exile’ (Letters, 136)." (ODNB) A Key to the pseudonyms is given by Thomas Seccombe in the bibliographical introduction to vol. XII of Smollett's Works. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).