18th Century English Literature
BYU’s Special Collections does not actively collect 18th century English literature, apart from the work of Robert Burns and his circle. However, there are numerous works from the 18th century among our literary holdings. Perhaps the most valuable books in our collections are a first-edition copy of Henry Fielding’s The history of Tom Jones and a copy of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy signed by the author. Special Collections contains copies of other Fielding novels as well as novels by Tobias Smollett, Samuel Johnson, Fanny Burney, and Charlotte Turner Smith. The work of 18th century poets like Alexander Pope, Thomas Gray, Jonathan Swift, Thomas Chatterton, Felicia Hemans, and Ossian (James Macpherson) are found in Special Collections, as are editions of prose works by Daniel Defoe, Sir Richard Steele, James Boswell, and Horace Walpole — including copies of periodicals like The Guardian and The Spectator.
These 18th century works and others can be found in both the Rare and Vault collections. For more information about specific titles and authors in Special Collections’ holdings, search the library catalog or visit Special Collections.