The Romantic Poets

Joan of Arc, an Epic Poem
Robert Southey [(1774-1843)]
Bristol: Printed by N. Biggs, for Joseph Cottle; and Sold in London by T. N. Longman, 1798. Two vols.

On Loan from Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sharon Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB’92

The author's first book, published six months after Lyrical Ballads, when the author was twenty-two.  Campbell's verses dealt with such popular topics as the French Revolution, slavery, and the partition of Poland, and his book was an immediate success.

Wachs No. 713

Lamb and Southey were brought together through a common friendship with Coleridge.  A second edition and substantially revised.  Southey, in a preliminary "advertisement," describes the changes he has made as follows: "Since the first publication of this poem, it has undergone a long and laborious correction.  Everything miraculous is now omitted . . . The additional notes are numerous."

Wachs No. 260

The Pleasures of Hope; With Other Poem

Thomas Campbell (1777-1844)
Edinburgh: Printed for Mundell & Son; and for Longman and Rees, and J. Wright (London), 1799.
Gift of Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sharon Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB’92

The author's first book, published six months after Lyrical Ballads, when the author was twenty-two.  Campbell's verses dealt with such popular topics as the French Revolution, slavery, and the partition of Poland, and his book was an immediate success.

Wachs No. 713

Psyche; or, the Legend of Love

[Mary Tighe (1772-1810)]
London: [Printed for J. Carpenter by C. Whittingham], 1805.
On Loan from Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sharon Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB’92

This presentation copy was the author's first book, privately printed in an edition reported to be 100 copies.  This long poem in Spenserian stanzas, based on the story of Cupid and Psyche in Apuleius, was much admired by such Romantic poets as Leigh Hunt, Thomas Moore, and Mrs. Hemans.

Wachs No. 596

Jacqueline. A Poem

[Samuel Rogers (1763-1855)]
London: Printed for T. Cadell and W. Davies; by W. Bulmer and Co., 1814
Gift of Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sharon Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB’92

Shortly after this poem was printed, Rogers decided to publish it jointly with Byron's Lara, and copies of this separate edition were never offered for public sale.  The withdrawal of the printing is confirmed by the fact that the publisher's imprint on the title-page has been crossed out in pencil.

Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems

John Keats (1795-1821)
London: Printed for Taylor and Hessey, 1820.
On Loan from Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sharon Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB’92

Keats's most famous work, among the "other poems" are "Ode to a Nightingale," "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "To Autumn," and "Ode on Melan-choly."

Wachs No. 192

Don Juan. A New Edition


[George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824)]
London: Printed by Thomas Davison, 1819.  [With:] Don Juan.  Cantos III, IV, and V.  London: Printed by Thomas Davison, 1821. [With:] Don Juan.  Cantos VI.—VII.—and VIII.  London: Printed for John Hunt, 1823. [With:] Don Juan.  Cantos IX.—X.—and XI.  London: Printed for John Hunt, 1823. [With:] Don Juan.  Cantos XII.—XIII.—and XIV.  London: Printed for John Hunt, 1823. [With:] Dun Juan.  Cantos XV. and XVI.  London: Printed for John and H. L. Hunt, 1824.  Six vols.
On Loan from Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sharon Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB’92

The first two cantos were published earlier in 1819 in large paper format.  In all 1500 copies were printed, of which 150 were destroyed, or "wasted," after the book had been reprinted in octavo; subsequent cantos were all printed in both octavo and duodecimo formats. One of the most popular poems of the Romantic era, it was almost immediately pirated.  It was simultaneously published in different sizes with formats chosen and priced to appeal to a wider audience.

Wachs No. 318

Prometheus Unbound a Lyrical Drama in Four Acts With Other Poems

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
London: C. and J. Ollier, 1820.
On Loan from Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sharon Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB’92

Shelley's most well-known book, the nine "other poems" include his two most famous, "Ode to the West Wind," and "To a Skylark."  A single name "Tighe," in an early hand, on the front flyleaf, possibly placed there by George William Tighe, who played a major role in Shelley's life during his residence in Italy.

Wachs No. 753

Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul.jpg

William Blake (1757-1827)
London: W. Pickering, and W. Newbery, 1839
On Loan from Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sharon Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB’92

Included here are some of Blake's most famous poems, such as "The Lamb" and "The Tiger."  It is thought that 500 copies of this volume were printed.  At some point in the press run it was decided to eliminate the poem "The Little Vagabond," and the last two signatures were reset.  The present copy, the first issue, belonged to Robert Browning, and is inscribed on the title-page as follows: "W. A. Dow to his friend Browning, August 3, 1839."  W. A. Dow was a lawyer who became a close friend of Browning's.

Wachs No. 501

Lalla Rookh, an Oriental Romance

Thomas Moore (1779-1852)
London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1817
On Loan from Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sharon Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB’92

One of the most popular poems of the 19th century, by 1840 some twenty editions had appeared.  The quarto format adopted by Moore and his publishers was that popularized by Walter Scott.  With an engraved title-page and five additional plates by Charles Heath, after designs by William Westall.

Wachs No. 819

The Autobiography of Leigh Hunt; With Reminiscences of Friends and Contemporaries

Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)
London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1850. Three vols.
Gift of Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sharon Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB’92

Written in 1850, when the author was 64 years old, this painfully honest autobiography covers Hunt's time in Italy as a young man and the 25 years of literary endeavor that followed upon his return to England.  Hunt also describes his friendships with Keats and Shelley, who he introduced to each other, Byron, Lamb and others.

Wachs No. 20