New edition unearthed

We are currently cataloguing the Craig Collection, a collection of mainly twentieth-century books bequeathed by the widow of Alec Craig (author of The Banned Books of England). Taking in hand A Modest Defence of Publick Stews, or, An Essay upon Whoring, as it is now Practis’d in these Kingdoms (London: A. Bussy, 1725), nothing suggested that it might be exceptional. There appeared to be eight copies on ESTC, a respectable survival rate for a small, pamphlet-like book of eighty octavo pages. But other copies all recorded the pagination as: x, [4], 65, [1] pages. The Senate House Library copy clearly had x, [4], 66 pages. Was this just a question of a page number being added? Comparison with the electronic copy showed not. Instead, the Senate House Library has a different tailpiece on page 57, and all the pages after page 58 have been completely reset, with some content added. It’s exciting to think we hold a unique item – or do we.

Modest defence

title page

Modest defence

Modest defence, p. 66


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