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Eighteenth-Century Literary Publications Collection

60,000 items (dispersed).

The collection contains nearly 25,500 separate titles, and all are recorded on the Eighteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) database.

The major authors are represented by substantial collections of contemporary publications. Many of the polemical writings of both Jonathan Swift and Daniel Defoe are available.

Particular emphasis can be placed on the tracts written at the time of the Union of Scotland with England, and the Library also has copies of both the first and second editions, the B issue, of Gulliver's Travels (1726–27). Among the works of other novelists, attention should be drawn to a first edition, presentation copy of Samuel Richardson's Clarissa (1751), and to a first-edition set of Laurence Sterne's Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (1760–67), with the author's signature present in two of the nine volumes.

Eighteenth-century poetry is also well represented. Of the four parts of Thomson's masterpiece The Seasons, there are first editions of Spring (1728) and Summer (1727), while Autumn (1730) and Winter (1726) are present in second and third editions respectively.

Pope's verse translations of the Iliad (1715–20) and Odyssey (1725–26) can be found in first edition, as can the first volume of his Works (1717), which includes the poem 'Eloisa to Abelard'.

Finding aids

Recorded in general printed-book catalogue.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library