Lot 23
  • 23

Byron, George Gordon Noel, Lord

30,000 - 45,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Poems on Various Occasions.  Newark: Printed by S. & J. Ridge, 1807
  • Paper, ink, leather
8vo (6 7/8 x 4 3/8 in.; 176 x 112 mm). With half-title, light pencil notations on a few leaves.  Contemporary tree calf gilt, spine backed with black roan gilt with urn tools; spine chipped and flaking, joints starting. Half brown morocco slipcase and chemise. 


The Leacroft family, Southwell (stamp on front pastedown) — John M. Schiff (Sotheby's New York, 11 December 1990, lot 60)


Ashley 1:144; First Editions Club/Byron 2; Randolph 115; Wise 1:5; Hayward 217

Catalogue Note

First edition. One of approximately 100 copies printed of Byron's second book. Byron's first book, Fugitive Pieces, was privately printed in 1806, distributed to friends and then recalled by the poet, whose friend the Rev. John Becher destroyed most copies. Byron produced the present title in the following year and distributed it to the friends from whom he had recalled Fugitive Pieces.

This copy of Poems is from the collection of Leacroft family, Burgage House, Southwell, Nottinghamshire.  During the years 1803–07, Byron frequently visited his mother, who was then living in Southwell.  He made the acquaintance of the Leacroft family and became especially to the daughter, Julia Leacroft and her brother John.  Julia and Byron began a flirtation; and in 1806, Byron included the poem "To Julia" in Fugitive Pieces. By the next year a scandal of erupted which put an end to the friendship.  It is rumored that John Leacraft even challenged Byron to a duel.  Byron and the Leacrofts terminated their association quickly; and Byron renamed his poem written to Julia as "To Lesbia."

An important association copy of Byron's scarce second book.  The present copy was purchased in our sale of the Library of John M. Schiff in 1990; since that time, only two other copies have appeared at auction.