[Penrith]: J. Brown, 1809-1810.
First editions. Original printed paper wrappers. Numbers 1, 2, 6, 7, 15, 21, 22-25, and an un-numbered issue for Thursday, January 11, 1809-1810. Though incomplete run, yet FIRST EDITIONS OF COLERIDGEíS SCARCE POLITICAL WEEKLY, and including the very rare unnumbered "Supernumerary essay," dated Thursday, January 11, 1810, that was issued between numbers 20 and 21. From a Christie's listing for the complete run: "Plans for 'The Friend' began around 1808, with the intention that it would "be produced mainly by himself, which would deal not with the events of the day but with the questions of principle raised by them. In September he settled with the Wordsworth family at their recently acquired house in Grasmere, Allan Bank, where he planned to look after his children and work on his new venture, with Sara Hutchinson [with whom he had fallen madly in love in October 1799] as amanuensis. It was to be printed at Penrith, calling for a journey on foot over the fells from Grasmere every time a fresh number was ready. Despite the apprehension of some of his friends that it would never appear, and Wordsworth's feeling that this might be as well since Coleridge was unfitted by temperament for any course of action demanding application, a week with Wordsworth's friend Thomas Wilkinson during which he was kept without stimulants helped him to produce the first number on 1 June. From then on, although dogged by problems concerning the supply of stamped paper for its printing, The Friend appeared steadily if irregularly until the twenty-eighth issue in March 1810, assisted by contributions from Wordsworth (the first of his 'Essays upon epitaphs' and a fragment of the 'Poem to Coleridge') and Christopher North (John Wilson)..." (John Beer, Oxford DNB). Tinker 689 (noting Wordsworth references); Wise, Coleridge 20. A few ff. loose, spotting or foxing, stitched or folded, as issued, 8vo, 1810, 1809-1810.
Price: $2,250.00 Item #4310