TRUE LOVE?

ID: 25710
£275.00
Curious love letter suitable to all circumstances and occasions,

BROADSIDE: CURIOUS LOVE LETTER,, Curious love letter suitable to all circumstances and occasions, which will do either to rivet your nymph's affections, or to cut the connection between you. To which added, an infallible cure for love. [London] printed and sold by J. Pitts*, 14 Great St. Andrew Street, seven dials, n.d. [ca. 1802-1819].

broadside, 34.5 x 24 cms., rather browned and soiled, previously folded with tiny perforations at folds, marginal fraying and tears, touching letters but with no significant loss, now with neat professional repairs by a paper conservator.

Apparently of great rarity: no other copy located.

A charming but highly cynical portrait of love in the form of a proposed letter from a young man ("your affectionate servant and lover") to his girlfriend ("Madam"). The letter can be read in two ways, either as an ardent and true declaration of love, or as a cruel letter of rejection. "So read straight forward and be curst! But if thy heart to me incline, Oh! jump o'er every other line." And so, the first 4 lines of the letter of rejection would run: "The great affection I have hitherto expressed for you Is false; and I now feel that my indifference towards you Increases every day; and the more I see of you, the more You appear ridiculous in my eyes, and an object of contempt." While the first 4 lines of the love letter would run: "The great affection I have hitherto expressed for you Increases every day; and the more I see of you, the more I feel inclined, and in all respects disposed, and determined to Offer you my hand. Our last conversation has, I assure you .....". John Pitts was a prolific printer of ballads, broadsides and chapbooks in the first half of the 19th century. Before launching his own business in London's Seven Dials, he had worked for John Marshall, the printer of the Cheap Repository Tracts. He was established at 14 Great St. Andrew Street from 1802 to 1819, thus providing a rough guide to the date of the present broadside.