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AIKIN, John

Essays on song-writing: with a collection of such English songs as are most eminent for practical merit. To which are added some original pieces.   London: Printed for Joseph Johnson, [1772].

8vo. xvi, 280; [ii], 120, [1] Contemporary vellum, beautiful spine label. Aside from some very minor browning, a fine copy with the bookplate of James Martin. $450.00

The very scarce first edition of Aikin's contribution to eighteenth-century song theory. The book was initially published anonymously, as was a number of Aikin's early literary and political efforts.
Aikin (1747-1822) was a physician who practiced successfully for a number of years until a stroke forced his retirement. Thereafter he devoted himself to literature and related pursuits, along with his numerous friends such as Priestley, the naturalist Pennant, Erasmus Darwin, and the philanthropist John Howard, for whom he acted as literary executor.


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