The scarce first book John Cleveland (1613-1658) - "the metaphysical reductio ad absurdum" (Hayward) - one of the most popular poets of his era. It went through several editions beginning in 1644. The 18 poems are preceded by Cleveland's acerbic essay on the character of newspapers, then in their infancy: "A Diurnall is a puny Chronicle, scarce pin-feathered with the wings of time: It is a historie in Sippets; the English Iliads in a nut-shell; the Apocryphall Parliaments book of Maccabees in single sheets." Cleveland mocks the pseudonyms used by writers, accuses them of scheming and spreading lies, and compares them to Don Quixote: "Thus the Quixotes of this Age fight with the Windmill of their own heads; quell Monsters of their own creation, make plots, and then discover them . . ." Cleveland's essay on newspapers incited a pamphlet war that continued for a few years.
Bookplate of Robert S. Pirie on the front free endpaper. (Inventory #: 26955)