London: Printed for John Miller, 1812. First edition of this wildly popular collection of Romantic parodies, including imitations of Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Walter Scott. When the competition to produce a dedicatory ode upon the 1812 reopening of the Drury Lane Theatre failed to produce many promising submissions, the brothers James and Horace Smith saw an opportunity. They composed a series of "rejected addresses" in the style of the best-known poets of the day, parodies executed so successfully that seven editions appeared within three months. Imitating Byron, Horace Smith writes: "Is it for these your superstition seeks / To build a temple worthy of a god, / To laud a monkey, or to worship leeks? / Then be the stage, to recompence your freaks, / A motley chaos, jumbling age and ranks, / . . . And moody Madness laughs, and hugs the chain he clanks." Years later, a friendly sonnet competition between Horace Smith and Percy Shelley would give rise to "Ozymandias." A near-fine copy, handsomely bound by Riviere and Son. Twelvemo, later nineteenth-century full tan calf, brown morocco spine label lettered in gilt, raised bands, spine elaborately tooled in gilt, triple fillet gilt border to boards, top edge gilt, other edges uncut, blue coated endpapers. Half-title present, one page of publisher's advertisements bound at rear. Bookplate of Crewe Hall to front pastedown, binder's stamp to verso of front free endpaper, pencil and ink notes alleging authorship on some pages. Lightest shelfwear to binding, front joint expertly repaired. (Inventory #: 1001429)
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