The Triumphs of Temper. A Poem: In Six Cantos.

The Triumphs of Temper. A Poem: In Six Cantos.
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Chichester: Printed by F. Seagrave; For T. Cadell and W. Davies, Strand, London. 1803. Small 8vo, xii, 165 pp. With 6 engraved plates by William Blake after Maria Flaxman; with some browning or foxing to the plates and the leaves to each side, as usual, browned from offset. Old calf panelled in gilt, red calf label, joints split and repaired, with the half-title, a good copy signed at the front by W.M. Rossetti in ink dated 1868. In a quarter brown morocco slipcase. Rossetti’s copy of the first edition with Blake’s engravings. DNB notes: “Possibly his greatest achievement, however, was his didactic poem Triumphs of Temper (1781), which ‘was to reform the entire feminine mind of England by the advice’ (Bishop, 53). This allegorical work aspired, in rhyming couplets, to teach young women the virtues of a pleasant nature. Its advice was heeded by some: Emma Hamilton thanked Hayley ‘for the lessons she had learnt from the poem’ (P. Jaffe, Drawings by George Romney, 1978, 44) and asked Romney to inform Hayley that his poem ‘made me Lady H. … for Sir W. minds more temper than beauty’ (ibid.). Triumphs of Temper ran into fourteen editions and proved to be the most durable of all his publications.” Bentley, Blake Books, 471. Essick, William Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations, XLIII. (Item Id: 106997)

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