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Eighteenth-Century Literary Publications

Date range: 18th century

Medium: Printed

Number of items: 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 (1667-1745) and Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) 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 (London: Benj. Motte, 1726) and second editions, the B issue (London: Benj. Motte, 1727), of Gulliver's Travels.

Among the works of other novelists, attention should be drawn to a first edition, presentation copy of Clarissa (London: S. Richardson, 1751) by Samuel Richardson (1689-1761), and to a first-edition set of Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (London, 1760–67), by Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), with the author's signature present in two of the nine volumes.

18th-century poetry is also well represented. Of the four parts of James Thomson's (1700-1748) masterpiece The Seasons, there are first editions of Spring (London: A. Millar and G. Strahan, 1728) and Summer (London: J. Millan, 1727), while Autumn (London: J. Millan, 1730) and Winter (London: J. Millan, 1726) are present in second and third editions respectively.

Alexander Pope's (1688-1744) verse translations of The Iliad of Homer (London: Bernard Lintott, 1715–20) and The Odyssey of Homer (London: Bernard Lintot, 1725–26) can be found in first edition, as can the first volume of The Works of Mr. Alexander Pope (London: Bernard Lintot, 1717), which includes the poem 'Eloisa to Abelard'.

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