Philostratus de vita Apollonii Tyanei.

[Lyon?], [B. de Gabiano?], [c.1506?]


8vo. 210 unnumbered ll., [pi]8 a-z8 A-B8 C6. Italic letter, little Roman. Worm holes, mostly interlinear, affecting a few letters, marginal spotting in a few places, clean marginal tear to 38, light ink mark to two ll., minor ink burn to monogram on t-p, slight browning to few gatherings. A very good, large copy, on thick paper, virtually untrimmed, in contemporary northern Italian calf, triple blind ruled to a panel design, floral decoration in blind to outer border, mudejar ropework to centre panel, heavily wormed and damaged, towards spine (missing), stitched on four single tanned parchment supports, stitched silk endbands, two tanned leather pieces used as sewing guards. Crossed-out, slightly later inscription ‘Bapt[ist]a (?) Belagni possidet’ inked to front pastedown, 6-line Italian verse in two hands inked to fep, initials V.Z. and inscription ‘W la sig.ra del [drawing of a heart pierced by an arrow] mio’ to t-p, extensive contemporary or early Latin annotation, title inked to upper and lower fore-edge. Folding box.

The binding is ‘an example of a late C15-early C16 Italian longstitch binding that has been given endbands with coloured secondary sewing, additional boards and a full-leather cover… three examples of this phenomenon [are recorded]: one in the Getty Institute in California (1511), one in the Biblioteca Communale in Siena (1496) and one in the library of San Francesco della Vigna in Venice (1495)…[this] example has added tanned, pierced sewing supports on the spine.’ (Prof. Nicholas Pickwoad) 

Fascinating copy of Philostratus’s ‘De vita Apollonii Tyanei’, printed probably in Lyon c.1506 and edited by the humanist Filippo Beroaldo. Philostratus (c.170/172–247/250) was a Greek sophist who studied in Athens and later settled in Rome, where he joined the intellectual circle of Julia Domna, wife of Emperor Septimius Severus and mother to Caracalla. For the Empress he authored five works, including the influential ‘Lives of the Sophists’. ‘De vita’ narrates the life and travels of the Pythagorean philosopher Apollonius of Tyana (c.40-c.120), with stories of marvellous cities, kings, Brahmins, Gymnosophists, and dragons. These accounts were an opportunity to depict the Mediterranean world of the Roman Empire as well as distant places like Babylonia, Ethiopia and India. In the dedication to the Count of Milan, Apollonius’s peregrinations are presented as a subject both pleasing and educational.

The text is based on Alamanno Rinuccini’s translation from the Greek edited by Filippo Beroaldo, professor of rhetoric at Bologna, for the Faelli imprints of 1501 and 1505. The edition features the same italic characters used in counterfeit Aldine editions printed in Lyon, whilst Aldus’s papal privilege for the use of his types was still in force. Most of these editions were destined for the Italian market; like this copy, first bound in Italy. 

The careful, nearly contemporary annotator was probably a lovelorn student. He penned on the fep the first two lines—‘Oh how much love I always felt for you / And now you are trying to leave me’—from Baldassarre Donato’s music piece ‘Le Napolitane’, published in Venice in 1550. The following two—‘Pale woman, I don’t want to love you / Naughty golden mouth do not abandon me’—do not appear to be part of the same song, though, like the first, they reprise in subject, language and form the successful mid-C16 Neapolitan genre of the ‘villanella’. He probably penned his beloved’s initials and a dedication to her, with the drawing of a heart pierced by an arrow, on the t-p. Another, slightly later hand wrote on the fep the lines ‘Ungrateful, disloyal and faithless / I write this to you to unburden my heart’, probably the incipit to another song.

Baudrier VII, 15; Renouard 307:16; Gültlingen I, 67/36; Brunet IV, 621; BM STC Fr. p. 350; Shaw 17.




Libro delle donne illustri.

Venezia, [per Comin da Trino a instanza di Andrea Arrivabene], 1545.


FIRST EDITION thus. 8vo. ff. (xxiv) 139 (i). Italic letter, little Roman. Woodcut vignette to t-p, decorated initials. Marginal worm trails to first and last few ll., some thumbing, mainly marginal spotting in places, intermittent faint oil stain to upper margin, small tear to lower margin of fol. 192. A very good copy in contemporary Venetian olive goatskin, traces of ties, triple blind ruled to a panel design, outer border single gilt ruled with gilt lotus tools and gilt apple tools to corners, centre panel double gilt ruled, gilt cornerpieces with leafy tendrils, large gilt lozenge with gouges, lotus tools and fleurons, spine in four compartments with single gilt ruled raised bands and rolls of leafy tendrils in blind, additional false bands, very minor expert repair to joints and extremities, upper joint slightly cracked, edges gilt and gauffered. C19 bibliographical note to fep, Italian motto (faded) and early ex-libris ‘Di Gioanbattista Giaccarelli’ and ‘Alex. (?)’ (faded) at foot of t-p, title inked to lower edge.

The exquisite gilt binding can be attributed to the ‘Fugger binder’ (also ‘Venetian Apple binder’). The tooling reprises very closely the fleurons, lotus and apple tools in de Marinis II, 1707 ter. and 2165, and, especially, the cornerpieces on the centre panel and the blind tooling on the spine in Davis III, 296.

Handsomely bound copy of the first edition in Italian of this important work by Boccaccio. One of the ‘Three Crowns’ of Italian literature, Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-75) was the son of a Florentine merchant who found his poetic vocation during his stay as a canon law student in Naples. His ‘Il Filostrato’, ‘Teseida’ and ‘Decameron’ had a fundamental influence on European authors, including Chaucer. After becoming acquainted with Petrarch and other humanists in the 1350s, he mostly wrote in Latin. ‘De mulieribus claris’, which took 15 years to complete from 1361 to 1375, was not translated into Italian until 1545. The ‘Libro’ is a gallery of the biographies of 106 women—mythological, historical and contemporary— presented as ‘exempla’ of virtuous or wicked behaviour, following the genre of ‘de viris illustribus’. The translator, Giuseppe Betussi, a renowned C16 writer and supporter of Italian as a literary language, included in the edition a biography of Boccaccio and additional lives of his own composition. Among Boccaccio’s mythological women were the berated Helen, wife of King Menelaus, whose kidnapping by Paris started the Trojan war, and Medusa Gorgone, wearing hair in the form of snakes—a feature which Boccaccio dismissed as myth in favour of an historical version in which she was presented as a powerful queen deprived of her wealth by Perseus. The most remarkable of the historical women, Pope Joan of England, was a great scholarly wit who, after passing herself off as a man for years, was appointed pope; she was unmasked whilst giving birth to a secret child during a procession, a fact which, Boccaccio writes, happened because of God’s ‘compassion towards his flock, guided in that fashion by a woman’. To those of Boccaccio, Betussi added biographies focusing on women who lived between Boccaccio’s times and his own, like Isabella, Queen of Spain, celebrated for her support of the crusades in the East, and Vittoria Colonna, a ‘nobildonna’, ‘literary wit’ and ‘devout widow’. A beautifully bound milestone of European literature.

USTC 814823; Brunet I, 991. Not in BM STC It., Gamba, Gay, Fontanini or Cicognara.


GIARDA, Cristoforo


Bibliothecae Alexandrinae icones symbolicae.

[Milan], G.B. Bidelli, 1628.


4to. 140 signed ll. plus 28 unsigned plates and their descriptions. Roman letter, with Italic. Engraved architectural t-p with Sts Paul and Alexander, 16 engraved plates with female figures within arch, decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Large light (wine?) stains to first few ll., very slight marginal marking in a few places. A very good, wide-margined copy retaining numerous uncut edges, in C19 red morocco, triple gilt ruled, rebacked, gilt spine retained, inner gilt dentelles. Bookplates of Robert Hoe, John Barrymore and ‘The Lamberts’ to feps.

A very good copy of the second edition of this attractively illustrated Baroque celebration of the ‘artes liberales’. Cristoforo Giarda (1595-1649) was an Italian bishop in Castro, where he was appointed by the Pope without consultation with the local ‘signore’ Ranuccio II Farnese—an event which sparked a war between the dukedom and the Pontifical States. He was also interested in emblems. ‘Iconae symbolicae’ is rooted in the C16 emblematic tradition as a monument to knowledge epitomized by the disciplines celebrated by the destroyed Library of Alexandria. It presents female personifications of the ‘artes liberales’—e.g., Astronomy, Law, Theology, Philosophy and Eloquence—in statuary form accompanied by learned glosses. For instance, after celebrating the discipline in which there are ‘as many heads as there are diagnoses’, he explained that Medicine was depicted with flowers, herbs, books and a vulture, which stood for medicaments, assiduous study and the possibility of the patients’ death. ‘Icones’ was rooted in the reading of Greco-Roman iconography promoted by the ground-breaking C16 manuals of Cesare Ripa and Natale Conti who interpreted the allegorical personifications and emblems of the classical tradition through multiple meanings. Unlike them, ‘Icones’ imposed on them a specific, single meaning, following the new interpretations of the Baroque period. Indeed, to Giarda the doctrine of symbols was an instrument useful ‘to explain everything’ and helped man ‘to imitate divine perfection’.

Robert Hoe of New York was one of the great collectors of the turn of the C20. His personal library catalogue was published between 1903 and 1919 in 16 vols and its sale fetched over £400,000.

John Barrymore (1882-1912) was a celebrated American actor of stage and screen. His first choice of career had been an artist, studying at the Slade, which may explain his appreciation of the present volume. It was however a gift to him from ‘the Lamberts’ (Constance Lambert?) in 1925 as recorded over the bookplate on the pastedown. Given Barrymore’s long-standing drink problem, the early staining is almost certainly wine, not ink.

BM STC C17 It., p 395; Praz 349; Landwehr, Romantic Emblem Books, 320. Not in Brunet, Graesse or Adams.


PITISCUS, Bartholomaeus


Trigonometriae sive. De dimensione triangulorum libri quinque.

Augsburg, Michael Manger, Dominicus Custos, 1600.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. 2 parts in 1, continuous pagination, additional typographical t-p to second, pp. (viii) 213 (iii) 215 [217]-370 [372] (ii), variant probably, first issue, without errata. Roman letter, with Italic. Engraved t-p with four figures of mathematicians, woodcut geographical diagrams and tables, woodcut printer’s device to recto of penultimate leaf, decorated tailpieces. Slight marginal dust-soiling to t-p, edges untrimmed and a bit dusty, two sheets of early mathematical diagrams (loosely inserted). An excellent copy in carta rustica, lacking one of four ties, bookplates of Auersperg library and Erwin Tomash to front pastedown, autograph of Wolfgang Engelbrecht von Auersperg and his catalogue entry dated 1656 to lower and upper t-p respectively, occasional contemporary annotation based on printed errata. In modern folding box.

An excellent copy of this ground-breaking mathematical work. Bartholomaeus Pitiscus (1561-1613) was a German theologian, mathematician and astronomer, tutor to the young Frederick IV, Count Palatine, and court chaplain at Breslau. First published in 1595, ‘Trigonometriae’ introduced the neologism ‘trigonometry’ into the Latin and vernacular language of mathematics, with the opening statement: ‘Trigonometria est doctrina de dimensione Triangulorum.’ It was a subject dating back to antiquity which only expanded exponentially in the C16 due to the demands of navigation and cartography. Divided in five parts, the work is a very thorough and clear manual laying down point by point, through very short statements, the basics of the subjects of plane and spherical trigonometry—e.g., the geometrical nature of triangles, the workings of straight lines, the translation of triangles onto spherical surfaces, trigonometric functions, sinus and cosinus, illustrated with schemas and accompanied by mathematical tables. Pitiscus calls the following ‘the golden rule of arithmetic’—‘if we take four numbers which are proportional to one another, given three it is possible to find the fourth.’ The last part is concerned with the practical applications of trigonometry in the calculation of irregular geographical surfaces, of the height of a building given one’s distance from it, latitude and longitude, and the height of the sun in relation to the horizon. Although without the two leaves of errata, the contemporary annotator—a mathematician—appears to have had access to them as he marked a passage as ‘error’ and amended its complex calculation with a six-figure result. Probably the same annotator also left two paper slips with drawings and operations of spherical trigonometry.  

Wolfgang Engelbrecht (1610-73), Count of Auersperg, was an Austrian politician and patron of the arts.

USTC 615235; Adams 1331 (with errata); Brunet IV, 679. Not in Riccardi, Smith or BM STC It. C17.


Ubaldini, Petruccio


Le vite delle donne illustri. Del regno d’Inghilterra, & del regno di Scotia,

London, Appresso Giouanni Volfio, 1591.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. [xiv], 117, [iii]. A(-A1+[par.]) B-Q. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut ‘Fleur de lys’ device on title, woodcut headpieces and floriated initials, eleven line presentation inscription to William Cecil, Lord Burghley in Ubaldini’s celebrated Italic hand on verso of first fly, 1592, bookplate of Robert S. Pirie on pastedown. Light age yellowing, occasional marginal spotting, one or two quires a little browned, mostly marginal soiling and spotting in places. A very good copy in contemporary vellum over thin boards, covers bordered with a gilt rule, gilt-stamped oval at centre, a little soiled, recased.

A precious copy of the first edition, second issue, of this very rare work, beautifully  inscribed by the author Ubaldini in his fine, clear Italic hand, for presentation to William Cecil,-Lord Burghley. Ubaldini (1545-1599), was born in the Florentine state and was learned in classical languages. He sought patronage in both Venice and England with his writings and settled in London. In May 1574 debts caused him to petition Lord Burghley, the lord high treasurer, for financial assistance from the crown. His inscription, in elegant italic, includes four lines of poetry and a seven-line dedication to Burghley “great treasurer of the Kingdom of England” dated “1592.”

“In Lewis Einstein’s words, Petruccio Ubaldini is ‘an example of the better type of the Italian adventurers then to be found at every European court’ (Einstein, 1902, p 190); and an adventurer he was, like many of the Italian expatriates in Tudor England. What is to be noticed in his self-introduction to ‘Militia del Gran Duca di Thoscana’, his last volume, published in London in 1597, is that Ubaldini emphasises his many years of service to the Tudors, first under Henry VIII in 1545 and later under Edward VI; having left for Italy on Mary’s accession to the throne, Petruccio is intentionally vague here about the date when he got back to England; .. as a matter of fact, he says in the passage referred to that he has been in the service of Queen Elizabeth since 1563. What this service consisted in is not clear at all: since Ubaldini was no longer young enough to be a soldier, a modern critic writes that ‘from 1562 onwards, he was able to fill the vacuum left by the rupture in official diplomatic and ecclesiastical contacts between England and Italy. He became almost the only well-placed Italian reporter of English affairs during the second half of the sixteenth century. … Ubaldini, .. corresponded with the secretaries of the Dukes of Florence and numbered Henrey Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, Walsingham, William Cecil, Lord Thomas Howard and other important personages amongst his acquaintances. Certainly Queen Elizabeth thought his services were valuable enough to grant him a salary.’ (Bugliani). .. Ubaldini is the author of 12 works, all of them composed and/or published in England between 1564 and 1597.” Giovanni Iamartino. ‘Representations of Elizabeth I in Early Modern Culture.’

This catalogue of the famous women of England and Scotland was a popular form of work at the period; there were many such catalogues such as Garzoni’s “Le Vite delle Donne illustri Della Scrittura Sacra” “Catalogues of women are lists enumerating pagan and sometimes Christian heroines, who jointly define a notion of femininity. They therefore offer a unique perspective on the problem of femininity by presenting women as entities participating in and formed by historical currents. Such an approach is of immense significance at any time of great change, when historical perspectives were under going transformations. G. McLeod. Virtue and Venom: Catalogs of Women from Antiquity to the Renaissance’ This work was written by Ubaldini and presented as a manuscript to Elizabeth I in 1576 (now lost).

William Cecil, Lord Burghley, was one of the great statesmen of the Elizabethan period, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, at the heart of most of the major events of the period. “From 1558 for forty years the biography of Cecil is almost indistinguishable from that of Elizabeth and from the history of England.” Pollard. He was also a great book collector. On his death in 1598, his will directed that his elder son, Thomas, should inherit ‘all my books in my upper library over my Great chamber in my…. house in Westminster’ together with ‘all my evidence and rolls belonging to my pedigrees’. On a sale of some of the Cecil family’s possessions in 1687, the inventory for books listed some 3,645 books and 249 volumes of manuscripts said to be his. The collection is now in four main parts – a great many are in the Cotton Collection at the British Museum, some are in the National Archive, a substantial portion is at Trinity College, Dublin, of which Cecil was Chancellor, and many remain at Hatfield House.

STC 24488; ESTC S118916. Lowndes 2738. Not in Erdmann.


Hall, Joseph

Occasionall meditations by Ios. Exon. Set forth by R.H.

London, printed by M[iles] F[lesher] for Nathaniel Butter, 1633.


12mo.pp. [xvi], 348, [xx]. A-Q¹². Roman letter some Italic, with box rule. Title within charming architectural woodcut border, small woodcut initials, typographical ornaments, near contemporary autograph of ‘Degorry Polwhele’ at foot of t-p, C19th engraved armorial bookplate ‘Parminter’ with motto ‘Deo Favente’ on pastedown, John Sparrow’s acquisition note “J. S. from R G-H 1968” above, Robert S. Pirie’s bookplate on rear pastedown. Light age yellowing. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in contemporary English vellum over thin boards, remains of ties, a little soiled.

Third and final edition, considerably enlarged from the previous two, of this important work of meditations, full of the the epigrammatic concision and wit that are the hallmark of Hall’s work in the genre. The first edition contained 91 meditations and this is enlarged to 140. These meditations differ from his earlier works in that they focus on observations from nature and moments that occur in every day life. “The Occasional Meditations show the latest development of Hall’s meditative practices. In order to gain inspiration, Hall went directly to nature. He turns from focusing on scripture or other heavenly things to mediation on nature. This is different from the Lutheran tradition because it goes against the sola scriptura tradition….the meditations can focus on any object in nature… This focusing is the starting point for leading the reader to a religious or spiritual experience.” Darrau: ‘The Reception of English Puritan Literature in Germany.’ These meditations range from such as “Upon the hearing of the street cries in London” to “Upon the sight of a great Library”.

“Bishop Hall’s The Art of Divine Meditation (1606, 1633) and the three editions of Occasional Meditations (1630, 1631, 1633) warrant .. recognition. Contemporaries noted their influence or praised “the divine, and eloquent Contemplations, and occasional Meditations of Doctor Hall”; and modern scholars emphasise Hall’s importance in the development of Protestant meditation. .. The genre commonly associated with Hall and practised by other seventeenth century authors turns on a distinction from formal meditation. By its nature, contemporary commentary notes, the occasional meditation resists the formality of the meditative practice variously described as set, solemn, or deliberate. Bishop Hall stresses “there may be much use, no rule” for the meditative mode that depends upon “suddain invention not composed by study.” It is essentially occasional or, in the often-repeated synonyms, extemporal, sudden, quick, rapt, and ejaculatory. Hall offers the further distinction between meditation “either extemporal and occasioned by outward occurrences offered to the mind; or deliberate and wrought out of our own heart. .. Hall’s fundamental distinction between the extemporal and the deliberate“outward occurrences offered to the mind” as opposed to those “wrought” from the heart, refines the accepted belief that meditation in general was a “bending of the mind” upon spiritual concerns. Later commentaries on the occasional meditation note a characteristic “sudden fixing of the mind,” a “profitable minding,” or a “serious bending of the mind.” Some attempt is also made to differentiate meditation from study, which turns on the difference between the head and the heart or discovering the truth as opposed to improving the truth spiritually.” Raymond A. Anselment ‘Robert Boyle and the Art of Occasional Meditation’.

Joseph Hall (1574-1656), Bishop of Norwich, poet, moralist, satirist, controversialist (against Milton, i.a.), devotional writer, theological commentator, autobiographer and practical essayist, was one of the leading hommes de lettres of the Jacobean age. He was at the centre of public life under James I representing that King at the Synod of Dort in 1618, assisting in his negotiations with the Scots and in Lord Doncaster’s French embassy and was foremost among the defenders of the temporal and spiritual powers of the Bishops in the Puritan Parliament of 1640-41. However, it is as a writer that Hall is now remembered. Fuller called him ‘the English Seneca for his pure, plain, and full style’. While Hall may not have been the first English satirist, as he claimed, he certainly introduced the Juvenalian satire into English.

The National Archives at Kew record the will of ‘Degory Polwhele, Doctor of Physic of Golden, Cornwall’ dated 1673.

ESTC S103720. STC 16689. Not in Pforzheimer or Grolier.




Disertissimi à Latinis epistolis, familiarium epistolarum libri tres.

London, Ar. Hatfield pro Francisco Coldocko, 1590.


8vo. pp. [xvi], 540, [iv]. A-2M. “Ioannis Sturmii, Hieronymi Osorii, aliorumque epistolæ, ad Rogerum Aschamum aliosque nobiles Anglos missæ” has separate title page dated 1589; pagination and register are continuous.” ESTC. Italic Letter, some Roman. Both titles within ornate typographical borders, floriated woodcut initials, woodcut headpieces, typographical ornaments, “Sam: Milles 1688” on fly, bookplate of Robert S. Pirie on pastedown. Age yellowing, a few quires lightly browned, very rare marginal mark or spot. A very good copy in Cambridge late 17th-century tan speckled calf, covers triple blind ruled to a panel design, large fleurons, binder’s instals ‘I W’, blind stamped at outer corners, spine with triple blind ruled raised bands, edges gilt ruled, a.e.r.

The last sixteenth-century edition of this important and influential collection of letters by the Tudor humanist and tutor to Elizabeth I, Roger Ascham (1514/15-68) providing tremendous insight into Ascham’s circles at court, and more generally into humanist learning in England. His letters were extensive and varied, and were used by educators as epistolary examples, but were in themselves revealing of the academic dialogues Ascham engaged in with English and European scholars, clergymen and politicians. Appended to the three books of letters are responses from Johann Sturm under a separate title page, a 16pp selection of his Poems, and a biography by Edward Grant. “Of his letters, Edward Grant, his biographer, who was a sizar of St. John’s College in 1563, and afterwards head-master of Westminster School, published a selection, with a very full life in Latin, and several of his Latin poems, under the title of ‘Familiarium Epistolarum libri tres magna orationis elegantia conscripti, nunc denuo emendati et aucti,’ in 1576. The book was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, and was republished in London in 1578 and 1590, at Hanover in 1602 and 1610, and at Nuremberg in 1611. In 1703 William Elstob published a new and much enlarged edition at Oxford ..” DNB

As tutor to Elizabeth I his letters are particularly revealing of their relationship, her education and Ascham’s thoughts on female scholarship in general. “Roger Ascham had friends in hight places. Or so it appears from his extent correspondence. When he was not teaching in the royal nursery, writing humanist treatises .. or drafting official letters as Latin secretary to the Queen, Ascham corresponded regularly with members of Europe’s political and intellectual elite. …The letters that Ascham exchanged with Sturm have been seen as the jewel of his correspondence since it was first published in the sixteenth century. The first letter that Ascham sent to Sturm on 4 April 1550 presents an earlier attempt to petition Elizabeth while ostensibly talking to a friend. Having left the princess’s service in disgrace in 1549, Ascham hoped to regain her favour when she learned of the elaborate encomium of her virtues and talents his letter contained. The way that Ascham uses his letter to negotiate with someone other than the recipient in this instance is a reminder that early modern letters were not necessarily private documents and an illustration of how this fact might be exploited.” James Daybell, ‘Women and Epistolary Agency in Early Modern Culture.’ Some of his letters praise female scholarship more generally and he was an influential supporter of female humanist learning “We now have many honourable women who surpass the daughters of Thomas More in all kinds of learning. Amongst them the shining star, not so much for her brightness as for the splendour of her virtue and her learning, is my Lady Elizabeth sister of our King.” He even includes a detailed description of Princess Elizabeth’s reading and curriculum.

ESTC S122374. STC 829. Lowndes I p. 75.


[Conry, Florence.]

Emanuel Leabhar ina Bhuil Modh Iarrata agus Fhagala Fhonbhtheachda na Beathadh Riaghaltha ar Attugadh Drong Airighthe Sgáthan an Chrábhaidh Drong eile Desiderius.

Louvain, Ar na chur a ccló maille ré hughdadhás 1616.


FIRST EDITION thus. 8vo. in fours. pp. [viii], 344. (*), A-2U. Gaelic letter. Small woodcut of Christ with cross on title, another of the Virgin and Child on **2 verso, small woodcut initials, “Desiderius Hibernice” in contemporary hand at foot of title, “Speculum vitae vel Desiderius Hybernice” in C19th century hand on fly, C19 armorial bookplate of the Earl of Macclesfield on fly, Shirburn Castle blindstamp to head of first three ll. Title page and verso of last a little dusty, light age yellowing, minor light water-staining in places, the odd marginal thumb mark. A very good copy, crisp and clean, with good margins, in C18th three-quarter speckled calf over marbled boards, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, gilt fleurons at centres, red morocco label gilt, a.e.r., upper corners a little worn.

Exceptionally rare first edition of this fine Gaelic printing from Louvain, made for the Recusant market in Ireland, by the Irish Franciscan Florence Conry, from the extraordinary library of the Earls of Macclesfield. The work is an incomplete translation of books 1-3 of the ‘Tratado llamado el Desseoso, y por otro nombre, Espejo de religiosos’, which takes the form of an allegorical pilgrimage, first published anonymously in Catalan (Barcelona, 1515) under title: ‘Spill de la vida religiosa’. Considerable additions meant to encourage Irish Catholics to remain steadfast in the face of religious persecution were made by the translator, Florence Conry. The work is often wrongly ascribed to Miguel Comalada. The translator Conry (or Conroy) was an Irish Franciscan and Archbishop of Tuam (1560/1-1629), who was born in Galway and died in Madrid. An ardent Irish patriot, he was involved in Tyrone’s rebellion and in other Irish movements, and founded the Irish Franciscan College at Louvain, largely with monies provided by Isabella, the daughter of Philip II of Spain. “Florence Conry archbishop of Tuam, . was a native of Connaught. After receiving a suitable education in Spain and the Netherlands he became a Franciscan friar of the Strict Observance at Salamanca, and he was for some time provincial of his order in Ireland He was nominated by Pope Paul V to the archiepiscopal see of Tuam 30 March 1609, and was consecrated the same year by Cardinal Maffei Barberini, protector of Ireland, afterwards Urban VIII (Brady, Episcopal Succession, ii. 138).At Conry’s solicitation Philip III founded for the Irish a college at Louvain under the invocation of St. Anthony of Padua, of which the first stone was laid in 1616.” DNB.

“Domestic conditions made establishment of a Gaelic press in Ireland impossible. It fell, therefore, to the fledgeling Irish colonies in Europe to organise a print response to the Protestant offensive. The Franciscans were already familiar with the products of the Protestant press and even deigned to use them…. In 1611 the Irish Franciscans cut the Gaelic front and set up a printing press in Antwerp, which is soon moved to Louvain. It was in order to help the youth and others in Ireland against the false doctrine of other religions that the Franciscan press produced a small number of catechetical and devotional texts. Their circulation appears to have been limited to the Gaelic-speaking community then resident in Flanders though there is evidence that they also circulated in manuscript form in Ireland. Only a small number of publications came off the Irish press.. and between 1619 and 1641 the press does not appear to have been used at all. .. The meagre production was due, in part, to financial constraints, which exacerbated existing problems of composition, printing, and distribution. Low literacy rates in Irish were a factor and it seems Irish speakers who learned to read tended to become literate in English only.” Raymond Gillespie. ‘The Oxford History of the Irish Book, Volume III.’

“The Franciscans, for example, were at the forefront of the drive to print devotional works in Irish for the Gaelic speaking part of the Irish catholic church. .. And not only the language involved but also the format of these particular works indicate their intended audiences .. such smaller works were more easily hidden on the person… In Ireland, where possession of such recusant works could prove dangerous, it made sense to produce clandestine works in these smaller formats”. Crawford Gribben. ‘Enforcing Reformation in Ireland and Scotland, 1550–1700.’

A very good copy of this exceptionally rare early Gaelic printing.

ESTC S125534. STC 6778. Allison & Rogers 151. Shaaber 343

ESTC gives copies at Harvard and Huntington only.


Donne, John; Cooke, Alexander; De Dominis, Marco Antonio; Constable, Henry

Donne, John. A sermon vpon the XV. verse of the XX. chapter of the booke of Iudges.

London, William Stansby for Thomas Iones, 1622.

Cooke, Alexander. More vvorke for a Masse-priest.

London, William Iones, dwelling in Red-crosse streete, 1621.

De Dominis, Marco Antonio. A manifestation of the motives, whereupon the most Reuerend Father, Marcus Antonius de Dominis, Archbishop of Spalato, (in the territorie of Venice) vndertooke his departure thence.

London, [Robert Barker] for John Bill, 1616

Constable, Henry. The Catholike Moderator: or A Moderate Examination of the Doctrine of the Protestants.

London, [by Edward Allde] for Nathaniel Butter

FIRST EDITION. First issue. Four works in one. 4to. 1) pp. [viii], 68. A-I K². 2) pp. [iv], 56, 5, [iii], 5, [ixx]. A-G H² I-M. 3) pp [iv], 74, [ii]. A² B-K L². [Without A1+2] 4) pp. [xvi], 26, 25-68. pi¹ [par.] A-I K². Roman letter, some Italic. First title within rules, double at sides, text within box rule, woodcut printer’s device on second title, woodcut initials and headpieces, initial blank A1 in first vol, and blank but for woodcut signature in second, bookplate of Robert S Pirie on fly. Light age yellowing, blank outer margin of title-page and first few leaves torn, small worm trail at gutter of first volume, rare thumb mark. Very good copies, crisp and clean with good margins, in entirely unsophisticated contemporary vellum, rebacked in vellum at an early date, wormholes to spine, right edge of front cover chipped, remains of ties.

A most interesting sammelband of four works including the very rare first edition, first issue of John Donne’s first printed sermon, the other three works of Catholic controversy. “Donne had taken orders at the instigation of King James on 23 January 1614/15; he was appointed Dean of St. Paul’s in November, 1621, and in that capacity became one of the most celebrated preachers of his time. The earliest of his sermons that has survived with a date was preached on 30th April 1615; and his ;last sermon was preached before King Charles on 25 February 1630, and was soon afterwards printed under the title of Death’s Duell. Six of Donne’s sermons were printed during his lifetime between 1622 and 1627” Keynes “In 1621, doubts voiced by divines over the Spanish Match and the King’s power, prompted James to write his ‘Directions to Preachers’, in which he warns that the higher mysteries of state affairs, especially the monarchy, were not to be mentioned in the pulpit. Dr. Donne was called upon to clarify the King’s intentions in a sermon of 1622: “for the second part, the Application of the Text [Judges 5:20], it wil be warrant enough, that I have spoken as his Majestie intended” .. Donne claims that the King’s ‘Directions’ were the result of “a representation of some inconveniences by disorderly preaching” .., and meant to return the Church to old, grave and learned methods of useful and edifying preaching and teaching. As for the King’s toleration of Roman Catholicism and Puritanism, “he doth constantly professe himselfe an open adversary to the superstition of the Papist … and to the madnesse of the Anabaptist”. .. Discreet and elegant, Donne fulfils his duty, remembering, perhaps, that “he that gives to the King, shall have a Kings reward”” Sandra Bell. ‘Perspectives on King James I’s influence of the literature of his reign.’ “When it came to explaining ‘the Directions to a large audience at Paul’s Cross, however, the preacher to whom James turned was John Donne. This commissioned sermon, given in September 1622, was surely one of the most difficult Donne ever had to preach, but it satisfied the King who reviewed it in manuscript and ordered it printed.” The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Early Modern England.

The Second work is a work by the Archbishop De Dominis who had fled Venice for England and had purportedly converted to Anglicanism. This is a translation of his work explaining the motives for his apostasy, effectively a denunciation of the Catholic church. “This apostasy of the archbishop, with his explanations was immediately attacked by two English Jesuits, John Floyd and John Sweet. In it the author expresses warm support for Roger Widdrington, in his defence of the Oath of Allegiance and his opposition to ‘the Popes temporall encrochments’” Milward. The fourth work is an important translation by Henry Constable, the British Catholic poet, of a French Catholic work appealing for the toleration of the Huguenots.

A very interesting sammelband with Donne’s very rare first sermon.

STC 7053; ESTC S122024; Grolier/Donne 46 (this copy). Keynes, 12. Not in Pforzheimer. 2) ESTC S122024 STC 6998. Milward 619 3) ESTC S108631 STC 5663 Milward 698. 4) ESTC S109405 STC 6380. Milward 695


Hall, Joseph

The Shaking of the Olive-tree. The remaining works of Joseph Hall.

London, J. Cadwel for J. Crooke, 1660.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. [xvi], 64, 112, 121-168, 179-209, 230-438. Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Title within double line rule border, woodcut head pieces and initials, typographical ornaments, “Via media. The way of Peace in the five busy articles commonly known by the Name of Arminius.” has special title-page, pagination and register are continuous, extra illustrated with engraved portrait of Hall, folded, placed as frontispiece, book-label of John Sparrow on pastedown, Robert S. Pirie below. Light age yellowing, the rare marginal spot. A very good copy crisp and clean in contemporary calf, covers bordered with a double gilt rule, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, fleurons gilt at centres, red morocco label gilt. a.e.r.

First edition of some of the works of the celebrated theologian and author Joseph Hall, published four years after his death containing many as yet unpublished including two important pieces of autobiography, many of his unpublished sermons on a multitude of subjects, and several controversial writings. The two autobiographical works are ‘Observations of some Specialities of Divine Providence In the Life of Jos. Hall, Bishop of Norwich’ and his tract ‘Hard Measure’ which details the severe treatment to which himself and other prelates were subjected under Parliament during Charles’ reign. “Hall is responsible for initiating several literary genres. In his own day, he was acknowledged as a ‘leader of literary fashion’. Tom Fleming Kinloch describes him as a pioneer in more than one branch of literature. Hall has been regarded by scholars mainly as a master of satire. John Milton criticised Hall’s writings [but] despite Milton’s criticism there have been many voices praising Hall’s contributions to English literature. Arnold Davenport quotes Pope, who found Hall’s satirical works to be amongst the best poetry and authentic satire in the English language.” Damrau “The Reception of English Puritan Literature in Germany.” “Several folio editions of his works were published by the bishop in his lifetime, in 1621, 1625, and 1634. The preface of the first folio has an extravagant laudation of King James, reprinted in the folio of 1634. A small quarto, with a collection of posthumous pieces called ‘The Shaking of the Olive Tree,’ was published in 1660; in 1662 a more complete collection of the bishop’s works.” DNB.

Joseph Hall (1574-1656), Bishop of Norwich, poet, moralist, satirist, controversialist (against Milton, i.a.), devotional writer, theological commentator, autobiographer and practical essayist, was one of the leading hommes de lettres of the Jacobean age. He was at the centre of public life under James I representing him at the Synod of Dort in 1618, assisting in his negotiations with the Scots and in Lord Doncaster’s French embassy and was foremost among the defenders of the temporal and spiritual powers of the Bishops in the Puritan Parliament of 1640-41. However, it is as a writer that Hall is now remembered. Fuller called him ‘the English Seneca for his pure, plain, and full style’. While Hall may not have been the first English satirist, as he claimed, he certainly introduced the Juvenalian satire into English.

Wing H416. Lowndes 979. Not in Pforzheimer or Grolier.