ROBERT SKIPWITH LIST (LIST OF BOOKS FOR A PRIVATE LIBRARY), 1771
Jefferson's book recommendations in his letter to Robert Skipwith dated August 3, 1771 from Monticello. PTJ 1:76-81 (full-text version from Founders Online)

Robert Skipwith, brother-in-law of Martha Wayles Skelton (Jefferson's bride-to-be), had requested in a letter to Jefferson dated July 17, 1771, for a list of recommended books "suited to the capacity of a common reader who understands but little of the classicks and who has not leisure for any intricate or tedious study. Let them be improving as well as amusing and among the rest let there be Hume's history of England, the new edition of Shakespear, the short Roman history you mentioned and all Sterne's works."

Organized under brief subject categories, each entry consists of a short title, followed by number of volumes, size, and price either in shillings (/) or in pound sterling (£). In some cases, Jefferson included publisher and date information to indicate a specific edition.


FINE ARTS.
Observations on gardening. Payne. 5/
Webb’s essay on painting. 12 mo 3/
Pope’s Iliad. 18/
------- Odyssey. 15/
Dryden’s Virgil. 12 mo. 12/
Milton’s works. 2 v. 8 vo. Donaldson. Edinburgh 1762. 10/
Hoole’s Tasso. 12 mo. 5/
Ossian with Blair’s criticisms. 2 v. 8 vo. 10/
Telemachus by Dodsley. 6/
Capell’s Shakespear. 12 mo. 30/
Dryden’s plays. 6 v. 12 mo. 18/
Addison’s plays. 12 mo. 3/
Otway’s plays. 3 v. 12 mo. 9/
Rowe’s works. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Thompson’s works. 4 v. 12 mo. 12/
Young’s works. 4 v. 12 mo. 12/
Home’s plays. 12 mo. 3/
Mallet’s works. 3 v. 12 mo. 9/
Mason’s poetical works. 5/
Terence. Eng. 3/
Moliere. Eng. 15/
Farquhar’s plays. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Vanbrugh’s plays. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Steele’s plays. 3/
Congreve’s works. 3 v. 12 mo. 9/
Garric’s dramatic works. 2 v. 8 vo. 10/
Foote’s dramatic works. 2 v. 8 vo. 10/
Rousseau’s Eloisa. Eng. 4 v. 12 mo. 12/
---------- Emilius and Sophia. Eng. 4 v. 12 mo. 12/
Marmontel's moral tales. Eng. 2 v. 12 mo. 9/
Gil Blas. by Smollett. 6/
Don Quixot. by Smollett 4 v. 12 mo. 12/
David Simple. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Roderic Random. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
these were written by Smollett.
Peregrine Pickle. 4 v. 12 mo. 12/
Launcelot Graves. 6/
Adventures of a guinea. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Pamela. 4 v. 12 mo. 12/
these are by Richardson.
Clarissa. 8 v. 12 mo. 24/
Grandison. 7 v. 12 mo. 21/
Fool of quality. 3 v. 12 mo. 9/
Feilding’s works. 12 v. 12 mo. £ 1.16
Constantia. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
by Langhorne.
Solyman and Almena. 12 mo. 3/
Belle assemblee. 4 v. 12 mo . 12/
Vicar of Wakefeild. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/. by Dr. Goldsmith
Sidney Bidulph. 5 v. 12 mo. 15/
Lady Julia Mandeville. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Almoran and Hamet. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Tristam Shandy. 9 v. 12 mo. £ 1.7
Sentimental journey. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Fragments of antient poetry. Edinburgh. 2/
Percy’s Runic poems. 3/
Percy’s reliques of antient English poetry. 3 v. 12 mo. 9/
Percy’s Han Kiou Chouan. 4 v. 12 mo. 12/
Percy’s Miscellaneous Chinese peices. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Chaucer. 10/
Spencer. 6 v. 12 mo. 15/
Waller’s poems. 12 mo. 3/
Dodsley’s collection of poems. 6 v. 12 mo. 18/
Pearch’s collection of poems. 4 v. 12 mo. 12/
Gray’s works. 5/
Ogilvie’s poems. 5/
Prior’s poems. 2 v. 12 mo. Foulis. 6/
Gay’s works. 12 mo. Foulis. 3/
Shenstone’s works. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Dryden’s works. 4 v. 12 mo. Foulis. 12/
Pope’s works. by Warburton. 12 mo. £ 1.4
Churchill’s poems. 4 v. 12 mo. 12/
Hudibrass. 3/
Swift’s works. 21 v. small 8 vo. £ 3.3
Swift’s literary correspondence. 3 v. 9/
Spectator. 9 v. 12 mo. £ 1.7
Tatler. 5 v. 12 mo. 15/
Guardian. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Freeholder. 12 mo. 3/
Ld. Lyttleton’s Persian letters. 12 mo. 3/
CRITICISM ON THE FINE ARTS.
Ld. Kaim’s elements of criticism. 2 v. 8 vo. 10/
Burke on the sublime and beautiful. 8 vo. 5/
Hogarth’s analysis of beauty. 4 to. £ 1.1
Reid on the human mind. 8 vo. 5/
Smith’s theory of moral sentiments. 8 vo. 5/
Johnson’s dictionary. 2 v. fol. £ 3
Capell’s prolusions. 12 mo. 3/
POLITICKS, TRADE.
Montesquieu’s spirit of the laws. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Locke on government. 8 vo. 5/
Sidney on government. 4 to. 15/
Marmontel’s Belisarius. 12 mo. Eng. 3/
Ld. Bolingbroke’s political works. 5 v. 8 vo. £ 1.5
Montesquieu’s rise & fall of the Roman governmt. 12 mo. 3/
Steuart’s Political oeconomy. 2 v. 4 to. £ 1.10
Petty’s Political arithmetic. 8 vo. 5/
RELIGION.
Locke’s conduct of the mind in search of truth. 12 mo. 3/
Xenophon’s memoirs of Socrates. by Feilding. 8 vo. 5/
Epictetus. by Mrs. Carter. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Antoninus by Collins. 3/
Seneca. by L’Estrange. 8 vo. 5/
Cicero’s Offices. by Guthrie. 8 vo. 5/
Cicero’s Tusculan questions. Eng. 3/
Ld. Bolingbroke’s Philosophical works. 5 v. 8 vo. £ 1.5
Hume’s essays. 4 v. 12 mo. 12/
Ld. Kaim’s Natural religion. 8 vo. 6/
Philosophical survey of Nature. 3/
Oeconomy of human life. 2/
Sterne’s sermons. 7 v. 12 mo. £ 1.1
Sherlock on death. 8 vo. 5/
Sherlock on a future state. 5/
LAW.
Ld. Kaim’s Principles of equity. fol. £ 1.1
Blackstone’s Commentaries. 4 v. 4 to. £ 4.4
Cuningham’s Law dictionary. 2 v. fol. £ 3
HISTORY. ANTIENT.
Bible. 6/
Rollin’s Antient history. Eng. 13 v. 12 mo. £ 1.19
Stanyan’s Graecian history. 2 v. 8 vo. 10/
Livy. (the late translation). 12/
Sallust by Gordon. 12 mo. 12/
Tacitus by Gordon. 12 mo. 15/
Caesar by Bladen. 8 vo. 5/
Josephus. Eng. 1.0
Vertot’s Revolutions of Rome. Eng. 9/
Plutarch’s lives. by Langhorne. 6 v. 8 vo. £ 1.10
Bayle’s Dictionary. 5 v. fol. £ 7.10.
Jeffery’s Historical & Chronological chart. 15/
HISTORY. MODERN.
Robertson’s History of Charles the Vth. 3 v. 4 to. £ 3.3
Bossuet’s history of France. 4 v. 12 mo. 12/
Davila. by Farneworth. 2 v. 4 to. £ 1.10.
Hume’s history of England. 8 v. 8 vo. £ 2.8.
Clarendon’s history of the rebellion. 6 v. 8 vo. £ 1.10.
Robertson’s history of Scotland. 2 v. 8 vo. 12/
Keith’s history of Virginia. 4 to. 12/
Stith’s history of Virginia. 6/
NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. NATURAL HISTORY &c.
Nature displayed. Eng. 7 v. 12 mo.
Franklin on Electricity. 4 to. 10/
Macqueer’s elements of Chemistry. 2 v. 8 vo. 10/
Home’s principles of agriculture. 8 vo. 5/
Tull’s horse-hoeing husbandry. 8 vo. 5/
Duhamel’s husbandry. 4 to. 15/
Millar’s Gardener’s dict. fol. £ 2.10.
Buffon’s natural history. Eng. £ 2.10.
A compendium of Physic & Surgery. Nourse. 12 mo. 1765. 3/
Addison’s travels. 12 mo. 3/
Anson’s voiage. 8 vo. 6/
Thompson’s travels. 2 v. 12 mo. 6/
Lady M. W. Montague’s letters. 3 v. 12 mo. 9/
MISCELLANEOUS.
Ld. Lyttleton’s dialogues of the dead. 8 vo. 5/
Fenelon’s dialogues of the dead. Eng. 12 mo. 3/
Voltaire’s works. Eng. £ 4.
Locke on Education. 12 mo. 3/
Owen’s Dict. of arts & sciences 4 v. 8 vo. £ 2.

Last updated: November 10, 2010
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