The Works Of Edmund Waller Esqr. In Verse And Prose Published By M. Fenton.
Printed for I. Tonson in ye Strand.
FIRST COLLECTED EDITION THUS. 4to. 9.75 x 11.75 inches. [xvi] + 450 pp. + xci +  pp. errata. Several separate half titles for sections. Bound in half morocco over marbled boards; spine rebacked (preserving original title label) in compartments with raised bands, decorated by blind stamping with contrasting maroon morocco title label, gilt. Portrait frontispiece and engraved title a little creased; otherwise a very good copy. Illustrated by 4 plates engraved by George Vertue (1684-1756), including portrait frontispiece after Godfrey Kneller, by engraved title, vignettes in text and by head and tailpiece vignettes and decorated initials. Edmund Waller (1606-87), a poet who helped bring in the Augustan age of English verse, was widely read and highly regarded in his time, including by Dryden, but later lost in critical esteem. Educated at Eton and Cambridge he sat as an MP in the 1620s and 1640-43, his political career in this turbulent era being marked by a tendency to support the ruling party. At first a supporter of Parliament, as a peacemaker he always urged moderation and was exiled for a time for what were now considered to be his royalist views. Returning in 1652 he was reconciled to the Commonwealth regime and in 1655 penned 'A Panegyric to my Lord Protector' (Oliver Cromwell). However, in 1660 he became a loyal supporter of the Restoration and of Charles II and his family. Many of the poems in this collected edition of his works reflect these later royalist views and he eloquently celebrates a naval victory over the Dutch. Also included are accounts of victories over the Turks, verses on the Sidney family of Penshurst, numerous love poems, short plays, his speeches and letters, with critical observations on his pieces added. This first collected edition of Waller's Works was edited by Elijah Fenton (1683-1730, poet educated at Cambridge who assisted Alexander Pope in his translation of the Odyssey. It is from the press of the well known publisher Jacob Tonson (1655-1736), who published Milton, Dryden and a six volume edition of Shakespeare, and founded the Kit-Kat Club in 1700. (ESTC T101629).
[Stock No. 26131]