ΣΥΝΩΔΙΑ, sive Musarum Cantabrigiensium concentus et congratulatio.

[Cambridge],  Ex Academiæ Cantabrigiensis typographeo, Anno Dom. 1637.

£3,250

FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. [112];  4. A-L ²L-N. The first three leaves of ²L are signed L4, L5, L6. [Issue with the additional quire between L and M.] Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Title within double ruled typographical border, floriated initials typographical ornaments, Robert Pirie’s bookplate on fly. Light age yellowing, endleaves a little dusty. A fine copy, crisp and clean in contemporary vellum, covers bordered with a single gilt rule, ‘sun’ fleuron gilt at centres (a little rubbed on upper cover).

Rare, first and only edition of this collection of verses to celebrate the birth of Anne of England, King Charles I’s daughter; a fine copy in a contemporary vellum binding

“The practise at English universities of printing collections of verses in the learned languages to celebrate public events seems to have started in 1587 with the death of Sir Philip Sidney. But whereas the exequies of the Oxford muses on that occasion were printed at Oxford itself by the university printer Joseph Barnes, the tears of Cambridge were published in London and it was not till 1603 that the first Cambridge-printed volume appeared.  ..But with the reign of King Charles Cambridge began to compete seriously with its rival in the frequency of its official offerings, celebrating the King’s accession, marriage, health, journeys and a rapid succession of royal babies in ten volumes between 1625 and 1641. “ Harold Forster. ‘The rise and fall of the Cambridge Muses (1603-1763).

This collection contains the first two poems published by the great metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell, one in Greek the other in Latin. “Marvell’s first published poem was an Horatian ode on the birth of Princess Anne in Cambridge on that occasion, ‘ΣΥΝΩΔΙΑ, sive Musarum Cantabrigiensium concentus et congratulatio (1637), written when Marvell was fifteen. Marvell entitles his poem a parody, that is a formal imitation, in this case of an ode by Horace which describes the horrors of civil war and begs Caesar to save the state. The poem offers critical difficulties. … The horror that Marvell’s poem summons (on what would seem to be a happy occasion) is present to varying degrees in all four university volumes on the princesses, and is even more strongly marked in the two volumes commemorating the birth of Henry, Duke of Gloucester in 1640.”

A fine copy of this very rare work in its original limp vellum binding.

ESTC 6179052. “Oates, J.C.T. Cambridge books of congratulatory verses 1603-1640 and their binders. Transact. Camb. Bib. Soc. I (1953) p.395-421, no.12” STC 4492.

L2215

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