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Book- The Task
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Title: Book- The Task
Identifier: B.20.67
Donor: Mrs. T. Watson
Item Date: 1817
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: A book of poems bound in red leather with a gilt border on the covers and gilt lettering on the back reading: "The Task," "Cowper," "London." The book is entitled "The Task" by William Cowper of the Inner Temple, Esq. London: Printed for John Sharpe, Piccadilly; by C. Whittingham, Cheswick. MDCCCXVII (1817).

William Cowper (1731- 1800) was an English poet. He wrote "The Task" in 1785. Cowper (pronounced Cooper) suffered at times from bouts of insanity and died from dropsy in 1800. His major works include Olney Hymns, John Gilpin and he translated Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. "Variety's the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour" is a famous quote from The Task. For more information please see

Charles Whittingham started the Chiswick Press in 1811 and it continued until 1969. It was influential during that time. It was taken over by his nephew, Charles Whittingham II, in 1840 and operated in London.

Information obtained at:

John Sharpe was a publisher in London during the late 18th, early 19th century London. He asked C. Whittingham for other copies printed from him. One of his best known works was "The Works of the British Poets" which was transcripted from 1765 to 1812.

Information obtained from: The most disreputable trade: publishing the classics of English poetry, 1765-1810 by Thomas Frank Bonnell, from Google Books.
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