The Life of John Buncle, Esq; Containing Various Observations and Reflections, Made in Several Parts of the World and Many Extraordinary Relations.

London: Printed for J. Noon, at the White Hart in Cheapside, near the Poultry, 1756. 8vo, ix [x-xvi], 511, [1 ad] pp. Original brown calf rubbed, some wear and scattered abrasions. Backstrip on 5 raised bands, a bit dry with old repair and loss at foot and crown. Ownership and gift inscriptions on front flyleaf and pastedown dated 1792. Inscription from same owner on front cover--quite faded and visible only in indirect light. The first is a posthumous note indicating the book as a gift from the late John Hobson Esq. to the late Thomas Hawker; and the second is an ownership inscription reading “Sophia Hawker / Her Book / 1792 / so she hope (sic) you will not sell it.” Good. First edition. The second and best-known work from Thomas Amory, whom Hazlitt called “The English Rabelais.” Published in two parts (the second came out a decade later), The Life of John Buncle is a fictional but largely autobiographical work “made up of natural history, mathematics (literally), songs, polemics, landscapes, eating and drinking, and characters of singular men, all bound together by his introductions to and marriages with these seven successive ladies, every one of whom is a charmer...and cut off in the flower of her youth” (Leigh Hunt, A Book for a Corner, 1859). Moreover 18th-century English books with contemporary female inscriptions are relatively uncommon. Rothschild, 32. (Item Id: 104803)

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