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Sarah Baskerville’s Horace

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Sarah Baskerville’s Horace

Date of publication:

  • 1772
  • Binding:

  • contemporary vellum
  • Author:

  • Horace
  • Quintus Horatius Flaccus: [Opera]. Birminghamiae [Birmingham]; typis S[arah]. Baskerville. 1772

    John Baskerville's widow Sarah is known to have printed only two books (the other being an edition of Jennings’ ‘Introduction to the Knowledge of Medals’), both re-issues of works previously published by the Baskerville press and printed within a couple of years of Baskerville's death. Read more

    However, she successfully maintained the business for a decade, concentrating her energies on type-founding rather than printing before selling her entire stock for 150,000 Francs in 1785, to the French dramatist Beaumarchais who used it to print an edition of Voltaire.

    John Baskerville consistently flouted convention in his personal life, not least by living with another man's wife. Sixteen year old Sarah Ruston married one Richard Eaves in 1724 and bore him five children, but he deserted her in 1743 and soon afterwards she found employment as housekeeper at Easy Hill, Baskerville's Birmingham home. Eaves returned to Birmingham in 1762 and died in 1764. A month later Sarah became Mrs Baskerville.

    Condition & Materials

    12mo. pp. [ii], 300 + allegorical frontispiece engraved by Charles Grignion after Samuel Wale (not called for by ESTC, which mentions a half title instead), contemporary vellum with morocco lettering piece.

    Armorial bookplate bearing Howman family crest and motto, E.J. Howman added by hand beneath; probably the Rev. Edward John Howman, rector of Bexwell, Norfolk, in the mid 19th century.


    ESTC T46244. Read less