[ca. 1815] · Stourbridge
Rare version of Cromwell's life and military successes: WorldCat and Copac find => no institutional holdings of this sole, separately-printed edition. The biography is attributed to "A Gentleman of the Middle Temple," but the text is for the most part adapted from of A Short Critical Review of the Political Life of Oliver Cromwell by John Bancks (or Banks, 1709–51), a bookseller, poet, and biographer; there seems to have been some confusion with the Restoration-era playwright John Banks (d. 1706).
The present rendition was excerpted from the first eight chapters of the Critical Review, and closes with a discussion of Cromwell's burial; much of Bancks's editorializing regarding the conduct of the king and other political matters has been removed, providing an interesting contrast to the original work. => According to the DNB, the work in its first state earned Bancks accusations of being an enemy of the monarchy due to its sympathetic tone towards Cromwell — a major difference from all previous biographies.
=> This edition features a wood-engraved frontispiece done by Turnbull after Harper.
Provenance: From the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Not in NSTC (CD version). On Bancks, see: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online. Recent light blue paper–covered boards, front cover with printed paper label. Frontispiece recto (back) with rubber-stamped numeral and pencilled annotation, no other markings. Pages age-toned with spots of minor staining, edges slightly ragged, corners bumped. An intriguing oddity. (Inventory #: 38654)