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This collection sold at auction for $1,000 in January, 2021

“The Poets of Great Britain, Complete from Chaucer to Churchill”. Edinburgh: At the Apollo Press, by the Martin Brothers for (London) John Bell.

This set includes 108 of the 109 small volumes, lacking volume 9 of Chaucer. Many with engraved frontispieces as well as engraved title pages. Each book measures approximately 5″ x 3.25″ inches. Very scarce.

John Bell (1745-1831) was London agent and distributor for the Edinburgh printers the Martin Brothers, who published in 1777 an edition of “The British Poets”.

Most (first edition) volumes in the present lot were printed between 1778 and 1784, but there are also a few second edition volumes. This set is a “mixed state” set with some published as late as 1803.