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Title: Who Wrote Cavendish's Life of Wolsey?
Description: London: Printed for Richard Rees No. 62, Pall Mall, by Richard and Arthur Taylor, Shoe Lane, 1814. FIRST EDITION. 4to, pp. [iv], 56, title-page in red and black, uncut, original boards, with printed label on front cover, hand-written paper label on spine; slightly soiled, spine repaired at early stage. With the bookplate, on front pastedown, stating that this volume was "Presented to the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution by Frederick Shum, Esq. F. S. A.", with Shum's name neatly added in manuscript. In 1814 the book Who Wrote Cavendish's Life of Wolsey? was published anonymously in a small print-run of just one hundred copies. The inscription in the copy on offer, however, gives the author's identity: "T. Broadhurst / 1816 / from the Rev. J. Hunter, / the Author". Here we see the author, the Rev. John Hunter (1783-1861), giving the volume to Rev. Thomas Broadhurst (1767-1851) in 1816, two years after the publication of the book. Both Hunter and Broadhurst lived in Bath; both were Unitarian ministers; and both were writers. Wrong or fragmentary attributions of Who Wrote Cavendish's Life of Wolsey? have been made over the years to, for example, the publisher Richard Rees and to simply "J. H." Eventually Sylvester Joseph Hunter (1829-1896), the son of the Rev. Joseph Hunter (1783-1861), stated in print that the writer of Who Wrote Cavendish's Life of Wolsey (1814) was indeed his father, for which see Sylvester Joseph Hunter's Brief Memoir of the Late Joseph Hunter, F.S.A., with a Descriptive Catalogue of His Separate Publications (1861), pp. 13-14. The inscription in this copy, however, is a satisfyingly contemporary first-hand attestation in manuscript to the authorship. At some point after Thomas Broadhurst's ownership of the volume, it went to the bibliographer Frederick Shum, the compiler of A Catalogue of Bath Books (1913), who was himself a Bath-based scholar. From Shum it went directly to the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. With the contemporary MS attribution, and the chain of distinctly antiquarian provenance, this is likely the best extant copy of a book important to historical scholarship.

Keywords: literary criticism biography literature

Price: GBP 495.00 = appr. US$ 706.85 Seller: John Price Antiquarian Books
- Book number: 3885

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