London: Printed for Robert Boulter; [place and publisher not stated], 1681; [1679; 1679?]. First editions. 3 works, folio (293 x 186 mm). Mid-20th-century brown calf (Miscellaneous Poems) and brown morocco-backed brown cloth (Advice to a Painter/ Second Advice), all housed in brown chemises within a brown cloth slipcase, spine lettered in gilt attributing each work to Marvell. Contemporary notation “12” at head of Miscellaneous Poems. With an old catalogue description by James F. Drake of New York loosely inserted. Miscellaneous Poems: earlier stab holes visible, pages lightly toned, scattered foxing, small stain at foot of title and prefatory page. Advice to a Painter/Second Advice: a little toned and foxed, very minor fraying around extremities. Overall a very good set.
First edition of all three works. Miscellaneous Poems includes the first printing of “To his Coy Mistress” and “The Garden”. Published a couple of years after Marvell’s death, the volume made his poetic talents known to a general readership who would have known him, if at all, only from his commendatory verses to the second edition (1674) of Milton's Paradise Lost, and perhaps from some satires, thus rescuing from obscurity one of the major English lyricists of the seventeenth century. As usual, this copy has the cancelled leaves removing poems in praise of Oliver Cromwell: “Failure of nerve during a temporary crisis in Whig fortunes had led to excision of the three Cromwell pieces before sale from almost all known copies of the work” (ODNB); only two copies, both imperfect, are known with them.
Advice to a Painter was in fact written by Henry Savile, rather than by Marvell. The poem, an anti-Catholic satire on the Duke of York, was written in 1673 but was only published in 1679, at the height of public uproar over the Popish Plot. The attribution to Marvell was upheld by both Wing and Pforzheimer, but correspondence between Saville and his brother show it to be Saville’s authorship. The Second Advice to the Painter was also generally accepted as the work of Marvell, but is now in doubt, given the authorship of the first.
ESTC R23026, R641 and R737. Wing M872, M864 and M887. Pforzheimer 671, 668, and 669. For the attribution of Advice to a Painter to Henry Savile, see Margoliouth. (Item #2504)