Dublin / London: Printed for William Wilson / Printed for R. and J. Dodsley in Pall-Mall, 1772 / 1757. Full Calf. First Editions of these two eighteenth-century poems in handsome contemporary binding with distinguished provenance. 4to (262 x 208mm): ,50,2]; ,156pp, with title page vignettes, list of subscribers, preliminary advertisement leaf, and final errata leaf; p. 49 misnumbered 94. Contemporary tree calf with large gilt armorial of T. G. Fortescue Esqr, Ravensdale Park to front and rear covers and engraved armorial book plate of Ella Park Lawrence and George Appleton Lawrence to front paste-down. A very handsome production in period boards, elegantly rebacked by Fitterer, securely bound and clean throughout. Rothschild 830 and Hayward 176 (for Dyer). Fine-. Item #BB2782
Leslie's "wonder and delight" in the lakes, mountains, and woods of Killarney inspired his topographical poem (a second, octavo, edition appeared the same year, as did Phoenix Park, Leslie's only other published work). Two years earlier, William Gilpin had published his Observations on the River Wye, celebrating the picturesque in English landscape, and Killarney is one of the earliest Irish poems in that Romantic tradition. Dyer's pastoral on the woolen industry celebrates "Britain's commercial energies and depicts her social classes working harmoniously in a shared national purpose." (Cambridge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Poetry) Dyer claimed The Fleece was the favorite of his poems, even if Grongar Hill was the most admired. Like Philips's Cyder, The Fleece was modeled on Virgil's Georgics, running thousands of lines of blank verse. Dr. Johnson mocked it, though Wordsworth recognized its "living landscape," especially "those soft scenes thro' which [his] childhood strayed." (ODNB) Provenance: Descended from a distinguished Irish family from County Louth. Ravensdale Park was built in an austere Italiante style by the architect Thomas Duff of Newry for Thomas Fortescue, 1st Baron Clermont, an Irish Whig politician and historian of the ancient Fortescue family of twelfth-century Devonshire origins. Ella Park Lawrence (1857-1924) was regent of the Rebecca Park chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Eight of her ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, and during the Civil War her father ran an abolitionist newspaper. 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.).