London: Printed for J. Johnson, 1798. Item #00842
"The Best Modern Poet"
With Ten Engraved Plates by Stothard
COWPER, William. Poems, by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. In Two Volumes. A New Edition. London, Printed for J. Johnson, 1798.
A new edition. Two twelvemo volumes (6 1/4 x 3 15/16 inches; 159 x 100 mm.). With ten engraved plates by Stothard.
Contemporary green straight-grain morocco. Covers ruled in gilt, spines ruled and lettered in gilt with five raised bands, board edges and turn-ins ruled in gilt, all edges gilt. A fine copy.
William Cowper (1731 – 1800) was an English poet and hymnodist. One of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of 18th century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside.
"His first volume of poetry, Poems by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple was published in 1782 to wide acclaim. His work was compared to late Neo-Classical writers like Samuel Johnson as well as to poets such as Thomas Gray.
"His work found a wide audience; Samuel Taylor Coleridge called him 'the best modern poet.' His attention to nature and common life along with the foregrounding of his personal life prefigured the concerns of Romantic poets such as Wordsworth. William Cowper died of dropsy on April 25, 1800. At the time of his death, his Poems had already reached their tenth printing" (Academy of American Poets).