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Title: The Life and Adventures of Joe Thompson. A Narrative founded on Fact. Written by Himself.
Description: Dublin: Printed by S. Powell, For Robert Main..., 1750. FIRST IRISH EDITION. 2 volumes. 12mo, 167 x 97, pp. xiv [xv - xxii Contents], 258; [x], 292, engraved portrait frontispiece in volume 1, contemporary mottled calf, red leather labels; bindings dried and worn, but a good to very good-set. Not so much "founded on Fact," this work, the most popular of seven novels by Edward Kimber (1719- 1769) is founded on little more than the author's imagination. It was very popular in the 18th century, and there were at least six further printings. Joe Thompson was translated into French and German and later adapted for children. Written after Kimber spent two years in the American colonies, the novel reflects some of "Joe Thompson's" experience. "The Editor's Preface" is a didactic approval of the author's tale and concludes, "Thus I commend Joe Thomson to the Perusal of all Ranks of People. The Fair of this happy Land will rise miproved from their Reading, as well as the generous Youth, who pants after Instruction. In Families it should become a kind of Monitor,, and in Schools a Vade Mecum: And that it may be as much admired by others, as it is by me, and may be of universal Service to Mankind, is the sincere and heart Prayer of The Editor." ESTC T98310 locates copies in BL and TCD in these islands, and Cornell, Folger, Harvard, Huntington, Ndewberry, Illinois; and Otago in North America. A London edition appeared also in 1750, but without the portrait frontispiece, but the London edition is presumed to have priority. ESTC lists the Dublin edition first, and perhaps it preceded the London edition, which omitted the portrait as it would have added additional expense for a publisher bringing out an author's first novel. For a perceptive "reading" of the frontispiece, see Janine Barchas, Graphic Design, Print Cuilture and the Eighteenth Century Novel (2003), pp. 48 - 50. A search of JSTOR did not diclose much in the way of recent scholarship or criticism of either the novel or its author, but references to an older work appear in most discussions: F. G. Black, 'Edward Kimber: anonymous novelist of the mid-eighteenth century', Harvard Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature, 17 (1935), 2742.

Keywords: fiction America literature

Price: GBP 2750.00 = appr. US$ 3926.96 Seller: John Price Antiquarian Books
- Book number: 9505

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