London: Henry Herringman, J.M., 1674. Edition: Fourth edition., Binding: Boards missing. , Notes: Abraham Cowley (1618 – 1667) was one of the leading English poets of the 17th century. In his early years he was best known as a dramatist and satirist, writing poetry of a “fanciful and decorous” nature (Britannica), publishing his first collection at the age of 15. He came to be recognized as a contemporary to John Milton, and his four books on the biblical kings broke new ground for the epic, preparing the way for Milton’s Paradise Lost.
One of his most noted poems is The Mistress, included in the present volume, which he wrote during the 12 years he spent as secretary to Queen Henrietta Maria of France after being exiled for refusing to sign the Solemn League and Covenant of 1644 at the start of the first English Civil War. In The Mistress, Cowley “exaggerated John Donne’s ‘metaphysical wit’—jarring the reader’s sensibilities by unexpectedly comparing quite different things” (Britannica).
The poems and essays in The Works of Abraham Cowley greatly impacted 17th century poetry, with 14 printings of the folio between 1668 and 1721. Cowley was highly praised because of his inclusion of classical formal elements in his poetry that influenced the style of Romantic poets. Cowley was notably buried in Westminster Abbey beside the ashes of Chaucer and Spenser.
, Size: Quarto (293x187mm). , Illustration: Title with woodcut printer’s device. First chapter with inhabited initial. Chapter titles with engraved vignettes. Each work with separate title, all dated 1674. Mistress: pg. 15 with lower marginal tear not affecting text; 45 misnumbered 41; Odes: jump from 58 to 61, text continuous. Davideis: lower marginal tear at 549/50 not affecting text; lower corner loss to 81/82 not affecting text; Verses…: 136 misnumbered 139., Pages: Title. Blank. An account of the life and writings of Mr. Abraham Cowley (24). Dedication (3). Blank. Author’s preface (12). ‘Miscellanies’ poetry (1-41). Blank. [The Mistress]: title. Blank. P. 3-80. [Pindarique Odes]: title. Blank. Preface (2). P. 1-70. [Davideis]: title. Blank. Contents. P. 4-154. [Daveidos, Liber Primus]: p. 1-23. Blank. [Verses written on several occasions]: p. 1-148., Category: Book Literature;. A good example. No boards. Some toning and occasional spotting to interior. Item #B6812