The pleasures of imagination: A poem in three books.
Portland: Thomas B. Wait, 1805. 8vo. ix, 84, pp. FIRST AMERICAN EDITION. Contemporary calf-backed marbled boards, top board nearly detached; sporadic browning, spotting on lower part of preliminaries, bottom corner of pages 9-16 torn. Ownership inscription of “John Lewis Jun., Baltimore,” and his manuscript poem opposite title. Item #11571
First American edition. In 1738 at age 17, Akenside wrote this 2000-line didactic poem. It was first published anonymously in London in 1744, and “a cheap edition followed within four months, and announced for the first time the author’s name” (DNB). Later, “Akenside entirely re-wrote his one long and famous poem.” Although the revision, published in 1757 with the title “The pleasures of the imagination,” was left unfinished, it went on to become his best-known and best-loved poem. Akenside (1721-70), a London physician, was also important for an early description of neurofibromatosis (see Garrison & Morton, 4015.1).