Discourses on the Four Gospels, Chiefly with Regard to the peculiar Design of each, and the Order and Places in which they were written. To which is Added, An Inquiry concerning the Hours Of St. John, of the Romans, and of Some other Nations of Antiquity.

  • Townson, Thomas
  • Oxford: At the Clarendon Press 1778


SKU: 4763 Category: Tag:


FIRST EDITION, 4to, pp. [iv], vi, [ii], 250. Contemporary sprinkled calf, spine divided by raised bands between double gilt rules, red morocco label. Somewhat rubbed and scratched, a little wear to spine and joints. Armorial bookplate of John Wilson, Bursar of Trinity College Cambridge (and later its President), to pastedown.


The first appearance of this 'capital performance' (in the words of Robert Lowth, quoted in the ODNB), which saw several subsequent editions and a German translation. Townson (1715-1792) was a near-contemporary of Lowth and said to be second only to him in scholarship during his time in Oxford, though his path led him initially into the clergy until a bequest from a friend gave him more freedom for literary pursuits. This was his most substantial work published in his lifetime and is now scarce in the first edition.

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