DescriptionJohn Suckling. The Works of John Suckling, Containing All his Poems, Love-Verses, Songs, Letters, and his Tragedies and Comedies. London: for H[enry] H[erringman], 1696. Krown & Spellman retail: $450. 8vo. A2, B-2C8,2D2. ,384, 382-401p. Contemporary calf worn and chipped, re-backed in sheep, spine worn, hinges split and detaching, ink ownership signature on ffep, ink stains on first leaf and t.p., margin of t.p. worn and darkened, coming loose. Engraved frontis portrait. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
More Information: Suckling made his mark as a poet, playwright, and belletrist, but he was a writer mainly by avocation, and by second nature. He was first and last a wit and a courtier to Charles I, being occupied mainly as a gentleman officer, socio-political observer, gamester, amorist, and marital fortune seeker--often impetuously and not always successfully. Rough times ended his life prematurely: heir at eighteen and prodigal as soon, he died at thirty-two in Paris, penniless and probably a suicide; the Commons judged him a traitor to parliament, to royalists he was a martyr before the king. His works circulated widely in manuscript during his lifetime and, published posthumously by Humphrey Mosely, were bought in large numbers and read with eagerness and admiration during the interregnum and after. Editions of Fragmenta aurea, the best and most important collection, were published in 1646, 1648, and 1658; and The Last Remains of Sir John Suckling appeared in 1659. His stature as a poet--and literary arbiter deliciarum--was at its highest during the Restoration... Suckling has been called a 'Son of Ben,' which he was not. He is nearer Donne and Shakespeare. But his verse and dramatic dialogue are sui generis, virtual court and country conversation...His commendatory poems abound in sociability and wit. Then as now the quintessentially characteristic 'Constant Lover' ('Out upon it, I have lov'd / Three whole days together') and 'Why so pale and wan, fond lover?' were favourites of all who read and the many who copied them." [Oxford DNB]. This is the last seventeenth century edition of Suckling's works. Wing S6120. ESTC r212347.
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