Friday, 27 December 2019

Collecting Haywood, 2019

2019 was a better year for Haywood collecting than I was expecting. I did have better years with a lot less money about a decade back but, as I mentioned in last year's year-in-review post (here), the supply of Haywood material has diminished, so my expectations have been low since at least 2013.

The 2019 highlights are:



[1] Ab.5.1b Injur'd Husband, 2nd ed. (1723) and Ab.7.1a A Wife to Be Lett (1724), bound together in a contemporary binding. Although both are first editions, it seems likely that this is a very rare example of issues of items found in Aa.2.1 The Works of Mrs Eliza Haywood being purchased separately. As the low Spedding Bibliography-numbers indicate, both are very early works by Haywood, and particularly hard to find for this reason. As I mentioned last year, Haywood's plays have been particularly elusive for me, so it was nice to get another copy of A Wife to Be Lett so soon too.



[2] Ab.7.3 Wife to be Lett (1735); my second copy of this edition, but only my third of the play. It is quite worn, but has some wonderful near-contemporary marginalia, which will be gold for the book I am planning on Haywood's readers.



[3] Ab.19.1a Memoirs of the Baron de Brosse, Part 1 (1725) and Ab.19.2 Memoirs of the Baron de Brosse, Part 2 (1726), bound together in a contemporary binding. Also early works; they join my copy of the "Second" edition of Part 1 (Ab.19.1b), so that I now have all editions and issues of Ab.19 MdB.



[4] Ab.59.1a Fortunate Foundling (1744), a first edition (first issue) of one of Haywood's later novels. Again, as I mentioned last year, I did not have any of Haywood's later novels until very recently, so it was great to get another so soon.



[5] Ab.60.1 The Female Spectator (1745), my third set of the first edition, which I describe here.



Also worthy of note are Ab.67.12 L’├ętourdie, ou histoire de Miss Betsy Tatless (1754), which I did not have. It is quite rare, only two other copies being known to me. I now have copies of all of the French translations of Betsy Thoughtless published between 1754 and 1782; Ab.67.11–16—a bit of a milestone for me. Ab.70.5b The Wife (Boston, 1806), the only issue I was lacking of the Bowdlerised American edition of The Wife—another rarity (only one other copy known) and another milestone. I was also very pleased to find my third copy of Ed.59.18 Edwin and Lucy, in yet-another variant binding (above, right). Finally, this year I got a copy of Clara Reeve's The Progress of Romance (1785), an important early assessment of Haywood's writing.

* * * * *

I still have less than half of the Haywood items I know about, and am well short of matching the British Library collection (which has about 55% of the items known to me). My goal as a collector is to surpass the BL collection, which I hope to do in the next three or four years, not to have a complete collection, which is almost certainly not possible in one life time, even with endless funds. My goal as a scholar has always been to simply to have a useful collection. The collection has already proven to be quite useful—providing me with material for original research and publications—but it is obvious that it will get more useful as it gets larger—so my scholarly and collecting goals remain in agreement: more Haywood items are required!

No comments: