Important acquisitions

Lyric Poems

Author Mercer, James
Title Lyric Poems
Imprint London? G.G. and J. Robinson and J. Edwards
Date of Publication 1797
Language English
Notes This is a rare first edition of Mercer's Lyric Poems published anonymously in 1797. It is contains a hand-written dedication to Dr. James Beattie (1735-1803) on the recto of the second opening free flyleaf signed 'The Editor' indicating that this copy was once a part of Dr. Beattie's personal library. A prefatory note in the third edition of Lyric Poems identifies 'the editor' as Sylvester (Douglas) Lord Glenbervie, the brother-in-law of James Mercer. Mercer was born in Aberdeen in 1734 and spent most of his life as a professional soldier in both Great Britain and the Continent before retiring in Scotland near Aberdeen in 1772. He then concentrated on what his biographer calls 'the secret of his poetical amusements.' A second edition of Lyric Poems appeared in 1804 and a third edition - of which the NLS owns a copy - was published posthumously in 1806. The preface to the third edition mentions that Mercer's ?scrupulous and fastidious judgement, however, prompted him, afterwards, and at various times to alter these, and many others of his poems ?? Certainly there are textual changes in punctuation and spelling between the first and the third editions. Due to the fact that the third edition was published posthumously, and that it may have had some of its punctuation altered by either Lord Glenbervie or the publishing house, the first edition is of importance in that it may represent a state of the text closest to that which James Mercer initially intended.
Shelfmark ABS.8.202.35
Reference Sources ESTC N4224
Acquired on 19/08/02
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