Madagascar;

With Other Poems.

DAVENANT, W[illiam]

THE POET LAUREATE'S FIRST BOOK OF POEMS

DAVENANT, W[illiam] Madagascar; With Other Poems.

John Haviland for Thomas Walkly, 1638.

First edition. 12mo. Bound in eighteenth century speckled calf with blind double ruled borders to boards, raised bands to spine with titles in gilt. Woodcut device to title page and woodcut head- and tailpiece devices throughout. Superficial repair to the front joint. A small piece clipped from the corner of the front endpaper and very tip of the corner of the first four leaves. Closely trimmed at head occasionally shaving the pagination. Wanting final blank, as usual. Overall, a very good, well preserved copy.

Madagascar is Sir William Davenant's first collection of poetry and coincides with his appointment as Poet Laureate. The title poem is an epic and rather romanticised account of Prince Rupert's attempt to colonise the island. Other poems include the ode 'In Remembrance of Master William Shakespeare', supposedly written in 1618 two years after Shakespeare's death and first published here.
Davenant is thought to be the godson of Shakespeare, and following the English Civil War secured a patent to establish a new theatrical company, the Duke's Company. He chiefly used this to put on his adaptations of Shakespeare's play, who had by this point fallen into obscurity. In doing so he single-handedly resurrected a popular following for his plays in Restoration London.
This book is extremely uncommon in commerce, with only two other copies sold at auction in the last sixty years.

Pforzheimer 258; Grolier Wither to Prior 243; Bartlett Shakepeare 362

Stock ID: 39484

£6,000.00

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