Association copy of Gulliver
[SAMUEL ROGERS] [HOLLAND HOUSE] SWIFT (JONATHAN). Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World ... by Lemuel Gulliver. London, Benjamin Motte, 1726. 4 parts in 2 vol., 8vo., 183 x 115mm FIRST EDITION, Part I on in Teerink's "AA" engraved portrait of the author
(second state) Part II in Teerink's "B". 6 engraved plates, light spotting and toning, Plate II/II untrimmed but with margin thumbed. Binding: early full polished calf, hinges rubbed and tender. Ref: Teerink 289 "A" edition; ESTC T139451; PMM 185; Rothschild 2104].
Provenance: Samuel Rogers (30 July 1763 Ð 18 December 1855) with Holland House armorial to front paste-down and note to verso of blank
reading "This book belonged to Mr. Samuel Rogers and was bought by me at the sale of his library after his death in May 1856 | Holland |
Holland House 1856" Additionally is a 1 pp. MSS, unsigned but in Samuel Rogers's hand (verified with known examples), of a transcription of the famous letter of Mr. Gay to Dr. Swift Nov. 17. 1726 [beginning] " About ten days ago a book was published here of the travels of one Gulliver,
which hath been the conversation of the whole town ever since.." [Ref: Catalogue of the library of the late Samuel Rogers, Christie's, 1856,
lot 458 described "with a note by Rogers" [in reference to the letter]. Gay's letter is considered one of the first modern "book reviews."
A copy with fine literary provenance, purchasedby Henry Edward, Lord Holland, at the sale of Mr. RogersÕs property, May 5, 1856. Samuel Rogers had deep ties with Holland House, Kensington, "where Lady Holland was most successful in gathering together a brilliant circle of authors and wits, Whig statesmen and Edinburgh reviewers,
aided as she was by her husband's manly good sense and warmth of heart. Mr. Rogers had a great regard for Lord Holland, in whom he
found a kindred love of letters, of civil and religious liberty." [See: "Life of Samuel Rogers" in The Poetical Works of Samuel Rogers, 1869. p. XXV].
COPIES OF SWIFT'S GREAT CLASSIC WITH LITERARY PROVENANCE ARE VERY RARE
Samuel Rogers, while his star has faded in contemporary circles, nevertheless stands as of the literary luminaries of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This particular copy, of what is almost certainly the best known and most widely read work of eighteenth-century English literature (ODNB), emerges from a rich literary milieu. Rogers was born and grew in the country
village of Stoke Newington, four miles north of London. It was there that Daniel Defoe was educated and where he wrote Robinson (1719).
Mary Wollstonecraft opened a school in the village in 1783. Even Poe, in 1818, at a mere nine years of age and on his sojourn abroad, entered the Reverend John Bransby's Manor House boarding school there, where he adopted some of the realistic details of the manner of contemporary writers to fuel his fantastic stories.