London: John Williams, 1670. 8vo. 122 pp. Woodcut headpieces. Modern calf-backed marbled boards; interior with minor dampstains in lower corner, otherwise a fine. Later edition. Item #17577
Later edition. Wild began printing Iter boreale in 1660 and published twelve more issues through 1668. The present copy was the first issue printed in 1670 followed by two more in 1671 and 1674. All editions printed before 1668 were quarto and those after 1670 were octavo. Moreover, nearly every issue has a different imprint. Wild continued to expand and add to each version.
This copy begins with a very popular ode to George Monck, a key figure in the restoration of the monarchy, whom Wild praises as the savior of the nation. It also includes his poem “The Tragedy of Christopher Love” (1660) lamenting the Presbyterian minister’s execution at the hands of Oliver Cromwell, and many other elegies and epitaphs. Wild also added “The Grateful Noncomformist” (1665), a scathing ridicule of Robert L’Estrange, the surveyor of the press who persecuted many Presbyterians. Following this are his two poems about the imprisonment and death of Edmund Calamy, also a Presbyterian. He also took the opportunity to profess his loyalty to the monarchy after the Restoration with “The Loyal Nonconformist” (1666). Throughout, he defends the nonconformists and here issues his response to critics with “The Fair Quarrel” (1666).
Wild (1615-1679) was a satirical poet and nonconformist minister. He was largely supportive of Presbyterians, but as a nonconformist, a Protestant who did not adhere to the governance of the Church of England, he was against sectaries of any kind. He was highly critical of Cromwell and supported the monarchy after the Restoration as is evident in his poetry, the highlights of which are all included in this edition.