The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel


The Tower of Babel 1718

By Ned Ward

Printed In London For J. Morphew

The Volume is in Very Good Condition in modern paper wraps: externally the wraps are new and show no major stains or tears. Internally the leaves are generally clean and amply margined with a piece of sellotape, and a library id number stamp, both on the first page of text, with a mild damp-stain and blind library stamps on the title, with some repairs to certain leaf edges and manuscript volume and page numbers in the upper corner of the margins, for a collected sammelband of which this is no longer a part.
The Volume is Complete in All Respects See below for pagination & dimensions.

Title - The Tower of Babel

Of Ned Ward

Ned Wardwas a satirical writer and publican in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century based in London. His most famous work is The London Spy. Published in 18 monthly instalments starting in November 1698 it was described (by the author) as a “complete survey” of the London scene. It was first published in book form in 1703. Ned Ward was born in 1667 in Oxfordshire. According to Theophilus Cibber, Ward was “a man of low extraction, and who never received any regular education”, but he is likely to have been educated at one of the grammar schools of Oxfordshire. By 1691 Ward had made his way to London. His first publication, The Poet’s Ramble After Riches, described his poverty and his disappointment of not receiving an inheritance through humorous Hudibrastic couplets. Further prose satires were published in 1695, Female Policy Detected, or, The Arts of Designing Woman Laid Open, and in 1698, A Trip to Jamaica. This travel account, based on Ward’s trip to Port Royal, Jamaica in 1687, was a satire of the way in which settlers were recruited to the Americas. Its success led to the publication of A Trip to New England in 1699.

Ward adapted the format of A Trip to Jamaica and A Trip to New England to his experiences of London in The London Spy, which was published in eighteen monthly parts from November 1698. Written in the authorial voice of a philosopher who abandons his scholarly pursuits in favour of actual experience, The London Spy established Ward’s name and style within the literary world, and was so successful that for over a decade Ward’s writings were sold and advertised under the caption of “by the Author of The London Spy”. The London Spy was followed by over one hundred satires of prose and verse, of which typical targets included ale house keepers, dissenting ministers, lawyers and booksellers, he extended some of these works into periodicals, such as The Weekly Comedy, as it is Dayly Acted at most Coffee-Houses in London in 1699.

Ward was involved in political controversy from as early as 1698. A “High-Church Tory”, he launched several attacks on low-church moderation and conformity, the first of them Ecclesia et factio (1698). Ward’s best-known political publication, Hudibras Redivivus, issued in twenty-four monthly parts between 1705 and 1707, drew upon topical material from the political struggle. Taken into custody both in February and June 1706, Ward was charged with seditious libel for accusing the queen of failing to support the Tories in parliament and was condemned to stand in the pillory. Ward was publican at the King’s Head Tavern, next door to Gray’s Inn, London, from 1699. In 1712 Ward opened an alehouse near Clerkenwell Green. Under the rule of King George I his writings somewhat abated. His writings after 1712 focused closely on local and personal experiences, particularly within The Merry Travellers of 1712, which spoke of his own customers. From 1717 to (approx) 1730 Ward kept the Bacchus Tavern in Moorfields. During this time Ward’s writings continued to gain popularity and spread across to the Americas, where even Cotton Mather, the socially and politically influential New England Puritan minister, author and pamphleteer, in 1726 warned against “such Pestilences, and indeed all those worse than Egyptian Toads (the Spawns of a Butler, and a Brown, and a Ward…)”. Close, geographically to Grub Street, Moorfields offered Ward proximity to his readership, becoming a natural target for Alexander Pope. Between late 1729 and late 1730, Ward left the Bacchus tavern and established himself in the British Coffee House in Fullwood’s Rents near Gray’s Inn.

Pagination & Dimensions

The volume is paginated as follows: [2]-32. The volume collates as follows: A-D4. The volume measures about 18 cm. By 11.5 cm. By 0.5 cm. Each leaf measures about 180 mm. By 105 mm.

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