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A collection of the rare editions of 35 early seventeenth century English poets has recently been given to the College Library, and is now on exhibition in the display cases of the Treasure Room. The gift was made in memory of Lionel de Jersey Harvard '15, a lineal descendant of John Harvard, who was killed in action at Boisleux-Au-Mont on March 30, 1918. The donor has requested that his name be withheld from publication. The addition of this recent collection makes the University collection one of the most complete in existence.
A single edition of Milton, included in the gift, has been placed on exhibition, although it will probably be transferred from the seventeenth century poets to the Library's Milton collection. The particular volume on display is an untrimmed and uncut copy of a second edition of Milton's "Poems", published in 1673. There is probably no other copy of this edition in existence today.
Among the most interesting books in the collection are early editions of Richard Lovelace and Sir John Suckling, two of the best known of the Cavalier Poets. Of the early editions of the former the most important is "Lucasta, Posthume Poems", published in 1658 after the early death of the poet. On the fly page is an excellent woodcut production of the author fashioned as a bust and placed on an urn bearing the word "Posthume". Of Suckling's works on display, the most interesting is his "Fragmenta Aurea, A Collection of All the Incomparable Pieces Written by Sir John Suckling", which was published in 1648.
Several First Editions Included
Included among the books in this collection are several first editions but the majority are almost equally rare second and third printings. The titles of almost all are characteristically long and explanatory. One volume by George Chapman is entitled "A Justification of a Strange Action of Nero in Burying with Solemne Funerall One of the Cast Hayres of His Mistress Poppaea; Also a Just Reproof of a Romane Smell-Feast, Being the Fifth Satyre of Juvenall" Nicholas Breton is represented by one of his works published in 1612 which he titles "Pasquils Nightcap; or Antidote for the Head Ache".
The most beautifully bound book in the colection, which has been placed on display is a copy of "Silex Scintillans", by Henry Vaughan, Silurist, published in 1650. This work by the well known English religious poet is bound in heavy green leather with designs traced in gold. In the center of the outer cover is a silver medallion. The following is a complete list of the authors on exhibition: John Cleveland, Abraham Cowley, Thomas Stanley, Sir John Suckling, Sir John Taylor, George Wither, Frances Quarles, Henry Vaughan, Samuel Daniel, Michael Drayton, John Davies John Taylor, the Water-Poet, Giles Fletcher the Younger, Sir William Davenant, James Harrington, Richard Crashaw, Sir John Denham, Francis Hubert, Robert Anton, Thomas Nabbes, George Buck, John Hepwith, Samuel Rewlands, Nicholas Hooker, Alex Rosse, Thomas Carew, Robert Stapleton, Joseph Hall, Richard Lovelace, Ben Jonson, George Chapman, Richard Flecknoe, and Nicholas Breton.
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