London: 1773. ,655,pp. plus numerous plates and maps. Contemporary half calf and marbled paper-covered boards, gilt spine titles. Moderate wear, rubbing, and scuffing to boards. Armorial bookplate on front pastedown, scattered foxing, some text trimmed closely. Very good. Item #3225
The full year of twelve issues of The Gentleman's Magazine for 1773, containing a rich assortment of historical information on America. Most notably, this volume contains a brief biography of Phillis Wheatley, along with the publication of her poem, "On Recollection." The biography and poem appear on page 456, in the issue for September, the same month Wheatley's book, Poems on Various Subjects, was published in London. The biographical note in the margin below the poem begins: “This piece was taken from a small volume of her Poems on Various Subjects, just published, written by PHILLIS WHEATLEY, a negro of Boston, who was brought from Africa in 1761, and is now only in the twenty-first year of her age." The biographical passage ends just as powerfully: "Youth, innocence, and piety, united with genius, have not yet been able to restore her to the condition and character with which she was invested by the Great Author of her being So powerful is custom in rendering the heart insensible to the rights of nature, and the claims of excellence." As a child, Wheatley came to America in a slave ship and served in the home of a Bostonian, John Wheatley. Upon publication of her book, she became an instant international literary superstar, and remains one of the most important poets in the history of the United States.