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Poetical Effusions from Fairy Camp by Powell Snell, Esq. Captain in the South Gloucester Militia. In two volumes.
Tewkesbury: W. Dyde, 1802. First edition. Hardcover. Very Good +. Two volumes. Tewkesbury: W. Dyde, 1802-1803. First edition. 12mo. [iv],192,vii,[i]; [iv],200,vi pp. Decorative woodcut head- and tail-pieces throughout. §Lacks title-pages: these appear to have been discarded by the binder. RARE: BL and Bodleian copies only. Not held at National Army Museum. §Powell Snell - of Guiting Grange, Guiting Power, Gloucestershire; a barrister by profession - was a Captain of Militia from the early 1770s, and raised the First Troop of Gloucestershire Gentleman and Yeomanry (now the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars) in 1795, at Cheltenham. He contributed poetry to the Gentleman's Magazine in the late 18th-century under a soubriquet, and Poetical Effusions from Fairy Camp - his sole known separate publication - seems to have been an attempt to collect his writings as he neared the end of his life. His 'My Own Epitaph, To be in the Church Yard, on a common Stone', rather touchingly concludes the second volume; he died about a year after its publication. From references in several poems (Louis Weltje, Sir John Lade), Snell - by his own acknowledgement a lover of the bottle - appears to have been personally associated with the 'fast' circle of the Prince Regent, and references to Zachary Moore and passing mention of Sterne's writings (whom Snell clearly admired) indicate possible youthful association with the circle of John Hall-Stevenson. Snell seems to have enjoyed a contemporary reputation in fashionable circles as a minor bel esprit. The poems include the usual odes, epitaphs, epigrams, puns, &c., but the overall tone is for occasional, social pieces, and the subject-matter tends towards the local: Gloucestershire and Worcestershire; Cheltenham, Bath, Bristol; female 'toasts' of the day, provincial drinking-houses, etc. 'Fairy Camp' is described by the author as 'a whimsical Retreat of P[owell] S[nell]... So call'd by an elegant lady of taste...Constructed on a small knoll, in the middle of a high hill of about forty yards diameter, in a semicircular plantation of firs and forest-trees, and surrounded by a fanciful railing, defended by a Royal Salute of brass guns...The Marquee built of wood resembling a real one, having the proper facings of the South Gloucestershire Militia. Gothic windows and door; the eaves ornamented with iron laurel-branches, between which, on Gala days, are placed small flags...'. Neatly bound in full contemporary straight-grained red morocco, gilt lettering, gilt and blind decoration, all edges gilt. Ink presentation inscription 'From Emma to Bruce London 9th Feby. 1838' to preliminary blank in each volume, and ink ownership name of recipient - identified by 19th-century owner's pencilled note as Alexander Bruce Dennistoun Sword '(1808-?)', also 1838 - to front pastedowns. Further 19th-century ink ownership name of one A. Whittle to each volume. Occasional internal soiling and trace of removal of early paper label to endpapers. The MISSING TITLE-PAGES aside, a very good set of the verse of an interesting minor poet in a neat & attractive contemporary binding.
      [Bookseller: JAMES HAWKES]
Last Found On: 2017-10-24           Check availability:      Biblio    

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