Religion; a Poem. [Bound with:] Annus; or a Memoir of the Year MDCCCXXXII. Written by itself. With an introductory preface by the year MDCCCXXXIV. Also, a testimonial by MDCCCXXXIII. Edinburgh: H. I. Bishop & Co., 1834.

  • Thomson, Thomas
  • Edinburgh: Published by Bishop & Co. 1835


SKU: 4705 Category: Tag:


FIRST EDITIONS, BOTH PRESENTATION COPIES TO THE PRINTER, 2 vols. bound together, 8vo, pp. [iii], 104; viii, 110. Contemporary black calf, boards bordered with a gilt roll enclosing blind rules, spine divided by raised bands, second compartment gilt-lettered direct, the others with gilt panelling, marbled edges and endpapers. Some foxing at beginning and end, a touch of dustsoiling in places. Extremities a little rubbed. Later bookplate of J.A. Bartholomew to front pastedown (partially adhered to flyleaf), his signature to initial blank, childish pencil marks to rear endpapers, initial blank of each work inscribed (in different hands): ‘To Mr Johnstone, with the Author’s sincere acknowledgements of his professional talents, April 1st, 1835’ and ‘To Mr J. Johnstone, with the author + publisher’s compliments, they also beg to express their entire satisfaction in the printing of this work, Septr 5th 1834’.


The printer's own copies of two scarce works, attractively bound. The first is a long poem (followed by a handful of miscellaneous lyrics) taking as its theme 'some of [the] most prominent and interesting characteristics' (preface) of Religion, by Thomas D. Thomson (possibly the Independent minister at Haddington, 1817-1847). The second is a lighter effort, stubbornly anonymous, in which the year 1832 reflects upon its life in very general terms; the Athenaeum noticed it at time of publication: 'We cannot make up our minds as to whether the preamble of this will and testament, or the document itself, or its codicil, be the driest performance, and shall not again try to unravel the mystery'.
Both works were printed for the publishers by John Johnstone in Edinburgh and each copy here was presented to him by the author with a note of thanks for his contribution, presumably before binding together as the presentation inscriptions are in different hands - not leaving a clue to the author of 'Annus', unfortunately.

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