January 2016 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Swift's "Lampoon" at Auction

200399_view 02_02 copy.jpgComing to auction next week in Edinburgh is a scarce first edition of Jonathan Swift's poem, "The virtues of Sid Hamet the Magician's rod." Swift had written to his friend Esther Johnson, aka Stella, about it in October of 1710, calling it a "lampoon." Having already established a reputation as a political satirist, Swift's ire was aimed this time at Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin. (Swift had been lobbying Godolphin for benefits for the Irish clergy, to no avail.) The double-sided folio sheet was printed in London by John Morphew that same year. According to the auctioneer, less than twenty are recorded in US and UK institutional collections. This one is expected to bring £800-1,200 ($1,175-$1,763).

Image via Lyon & Turnbull.