MASON, William, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts



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MASON, William (1725-1797). Poet and garden designer. Close friend of Thomas Gray.
Autograph Letter Signed to an unnamed correspondent, 2 pages 8vo (transparent mounting tape to second page), St John College, Cambridge, 8 December 1747. Evidently to a literary acquaintance, very likely his senior (concluding 'I am / Sr/ Your most Hum: Ser:'), asking whether he was about to publish a poetical miscellany, and commenting on his own work.
'We have a report here that you are going to publish a Poetical Miscellany but whether it is to consist of Ms Poems or such as have been before printed in Pamphlets is uncertain. I have some particular reason for desiring information from you in this affair. ...
 'I think to see you in London ... but shall hardly bring my Imitations with me, for my friends here think it would be better to publish something original first. ...
 'I am much obligd to you for the present of those Copys of Musaus,, but my Tutor tells me they came too late for presents wch shou'd always be given before publication. ...
 'Do you know when the new edition of Pope by Warburton will come out?'
Mason's first significant poem was his Museaus: a Monody to the memory of Mr Pope, in Imitation of Milton's Lycidas, and it is presumably to this poem that the present letter refers.
 As well as writing about gardens Mason visited those of his friends around the country and was responsible for the designs for Richard Hurd at Thurcaston, Lord Jersey at Middleton Park and Lord Harcourt at Nuneham Courtenay in Oxfordshire.
Provenance: from a collection formed by A.M. Broadley in 1903.
[No: 24746]


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