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Detail. Tim Bobbin [John Collier], The miscellaneous workscontaining his view of the Lancashire dialect. London: Printed for T. and J. Allman, and for Wilson and Sons, York, 1818.deB Eb/1818/B
Detail. Tim Bobbin [John Collier], The miscellaneous works…containing his view of the Lancashire dialect. London: Printed for T. and J. Allman, and for Wilson and Sons, York, 1818.
deB Eb/1818/B

Poor Tim Bobbin

According to legend, Tim Bobbin (real name John Collier) was asked by his wife to buy a mutton leg in town. He returned drunk, laden with books, liquor and no mutton. In anger she picked up a bulky volume (said to be Johnson's Dictionary) and whacked him about the ears with it. Known as a practical joker and ‘a devastating critic of the academic and the pompous', Collier (1708-1786) became famous for satirical caricatures and his storytelling in the Lancashire dialect. In this illustration in this 19th century printing of Collier's work, is this our Tim facing another beating?

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Rural Pleasures

Thomas Bewick's wonderful vignettes of village scenes are dotted throughout this second edition of the Revd. Josiah Relph's Poems. They complement the verse written by Relph, who aimed to sing of ‘the loves, the joys, the rural scenes and rural pleasures of his natal (sic) soil.'(Preface). Relph died of consumption at the age of 32 and lies buried in his home town churchyard at Sebergham, near Caldbeck and Monkhouse Hill, Cumbria. On display is his poem ‘On Tea' and the beginning of ‘Haytime, or the Constant Lovers.'

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Poems for Young Ladies

Inspired by Dr James Fordyce's remark in Sermons for Young Women that poetry should play a part in female education, Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) compiled Poems for Young Ladies. In this collection, which appeared anonymously in December 1766, Goldsmith declared:

‘Care has been taken to select, not only such pieces as innocence may read without a blush, but such as will even strengthen that innocence.'

Although given short shrift by the reviewers, there were three other editions by the end of the 18th century. This 4th edition has Goldsmith's name on the title page. William Cowper's John Gilpin is one of the poems featured.

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