Elegy on the Death of an Amiable Young Lady

Long title: 

Elegy on the Death of an Amiable Young Lady, with an Epistle from Menalcas to Lycidas (1761)

Book description: 

Published anonymously as a six-penny pamphlet in 1761 by Boswell. The poems are introduced by Three Critical Recommendatory Letters, "which mark the beginning of the correspondence with Andrew Erskine". (C. E. Vulliamy's James Boswell (1932), p. 6)

Not much (if anything) is known about the contemporary reception of the work - a fact that probably speaks for itself.

Until the early 20th century, the work was thought to be written by a John Bell, with one of the recommendatory letters being written by a George Dunbar. Today most scholars agree, that the initials of the authors of the recommendatory letters, AE and GD, belongs to Andrew Erskine and George Dempster, and that the author, JB, is in fact James Boswell. Convincing evidence exists to substantiate this identification.

This work is very difficult to come by today. The British Library holds one or two copies, and a few copies may be available at other research or national libraries.

Literature: