London, printed for J. Dodsley, 1781.
Quarto, xii, 164 pages.
William Hayley (1745-1820), 'English poet, patron of George Romney, William Cowper, and William Blake. His best-known poem, "Triumphs of Temper" (1781) was several times reprinted [in fact, there were eighteen editions to 1824]. Robert Southey said of him, "everything about that man is good except his poetry"' (Lord Byron and his Times digital archive). In this lengthy work, 'Hayley chronicled the trials and tribulations [Serena, the fictitious heroine] faced and how she overcame them by exercising her virtues of a pleasant nature and unfailing sweet temper. Her reward, in true eighteenth-century sensibilité style, is a good husband and happy marriage. Intended as a morality tale for the young and noble woman of the day, [the work] was very soon a hit among polite society's leading ladies' (Dulwich OnView website).
Bound together with four contemporary works by Hayley, uniformly published with the Dodsley imprint. 1) 'A Poetical Epistle to an Eminent Painter'. 1779 (second edition, corrected and enlarged); iv, 84,  (addenda, verso blank). 2) 'Ode inscribed to John Howard, Esq., F.R.S., Author of "The State of English and Foreign Prisons"'. 1780; 19 pages plus an engraved frontispiece by Francesco Bartolozzi. 3) 'Epistle to a Friend on the Death of John Thornton, Esq.'. 1780 (second edition, corrected); 19 pages. 4) 'An Essay on History in Three Epistles to Edward Gibbon, Esq., with Notes'. 1780; [iv], 159 pages. Contemporary tree calf, gilt-decorated with a contrasting title-label on the spine; covers a little worn but very sound; light stain to the top margin of the first half of the volume (extending at most about a centimetre from the top edge); occasional offsetting; faint stains on a few openings from pressed flowers (left in place, as the pleasant surprise they afford outweighs any further harm they may do); scattered light foxing; overall in very decent condition. Various owners have left their mark: the armorial bookplate of William Balfour Crawford, the pencil signature of James Reid, Auckland, 13 June 1866, and the ink inscription by William Wilkinson, Thames Goldfield, 18 January 1872. Thames is located at the south-western end of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand's North Island. A cursory glance online indicates that Wilkinson was a founding proprietor of the 'Thames Advertiser' in April 1868; after a series of partnerships, he eventually sold out in the mid-188s. He was also mayor of the town from 1880-82.