1674 · London
Cowley's collected poems in their fourth edition, beginning with a good impression of => the frontispiece portrait engraved by Faithorne, "an account of the life and writings" of the poet signed by T. Spratt, and two odes on Cowley's death by Thomas Higgons and Sir John Denham. Once considered the epitome of his era's wit, the author of "The Mistress" (verses in honor of love and various women, included in this volume) suffered a notable decline in popularity in subsequent years, prompting Pope's musing "Who now reads Cowley? . . . but still I love the language of his heart." And indeed despite the vagaries of reputation he has always had his worthy appreciators.
Cowley's Pindaric odes are present here, as are the "Davideis" and "Davideidos"; also set forth are the "delightful little prose Essays (with verse interwoven)" for which The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature believes Cowley will most ultimately be remembered. Some sections have separate title-pages, bearing the same publisher and date information as the main Provenance: Front pastedown with small armorial bookplate and with bookseller's ticket from Cambridge, England.
ESTC R29730; Wing (rev. ed.) C6652. On Cowley, see: Concise Cambridge History of English Literature, 351–52. 17th-century mottled calf, rebacked at some point in the 19th century and again more recently with hinges carefully reinforced (inside); spine gilt extra with gilt-stamped leather title label, covers showing the predictable acid-etching. Varying degrees of browning to pages; scattered incidents of worming in lower inner and outer margins, almost never affecting text.
=> A handsome book in a binding both sturdy and attractive. (Inventory #: 7716)