A defence of the Catholicke faith: contained in the booke of the most mightie, and most gracious King Iames the first,…

London , W. Stansby for Nathaniel Butter and Martin Clerke, 1610.


FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. pp. [xii], 187, 190-493, [i]. Roman letter some Italic and Greek. Title within single line rule, text within box rule, woodcut initials and headpieces, ‘Harvey’ in early hand on pastedown, bookplate of Robert S Pirie below, contemporary manuscript corrections of the text, early shelf mark ‘141’ on front edge. Small paper flaw in upper margin of leaf 2N1. A fine, well margined copy, absolutely crisp and clean in fine contemporary Scottish deerskin, covers single gilt ruled to a panel design, fleurons gilt to outer corners, large gilt stamped corner-pieces to inner panel, James I’s circular crowned thistle device, gilt stamped in centres, holes for ties, a.e.g. a little scuffed in places.

A beautiful finely bound large margined, most likely a presentation copy, of the first edition in the English translation by John Sanford, with the errors signalled in the errata, corrected in manuscript in the text. “Pierre Du Moulin was the leading intellectual in the French Reformed Church in the early seventeenth century. His influence within French Protestantism rivalled and complemented that of Philippe Duplessis-Mornay, the prominent nobleman, soldier, and adviser to Henry of Navarre, the Huguenot leader who became Henry IV of France. If Duplessis-Mornay was, as he is sometimes called, the ‘Huguenot Pope’, Du Moulin, the pastor of the congregation of Protestants in Paris, was the chief cardinal. A prolific writer and a skilful speaker, Du Moulin became noted for his success as a polemicist. Yet during a period of five years, 1613–18, Du Moulin was also the chief spokesman for a plan which would unite the English, Calvinist, and Lutheran Churches. The rather startling final point of the plan called for the reunited Protestants to make a fresh approach to Rome.” W. B. Patterson. ‘Pierre du Moulin’s Quest for Protestant Unity, 1613-18.’

“James and Du Moulin had corresponded for a good many years. According to Pierre du Moulin’s son Peter, “King James of blessed and glorious memory before his coming to the Crown of England, sent expressions of Royal favour to the Consistory of Paris, who chose du Moulin to address their humble thanks by Letter to his majesty.” The friendly relations thus established were renewed when James became involved in the theological controversy which followed in the wake of the Oath of Allegiance. When James issued his Premonition in 1609, he apparently sent a personal copy to du Moulin – and du Moulin subsequently undertook to defend the king’s book against the attack of the French Dominican, Nicolas Coeffeteau. Du Moulin’s ‘Defence of the Catholicke faith: contained in the booke of the most mightie, and most gracious King Iames the first, published in 1610 was followed in 1614 by a treatise which sought to expose the usurpations of temporal power by the papacy and to refute the views of Jame’s adversary Cardinal Bellarmine. Du Moulin had a formidable reputaion as a controversialist. In numerous publications, he attacked both Roman Catholic and Protestant theologians with whom he disagreed.” W. B. Patterson. King James VI and I and the Reunion of Christendom

“In the dedication of his defence of the king’s position, du Moulin clearly identifies his own cause with James I, declaring to the English monarch that “that religion which you [James] defend is the same which we profess,” and several times referring to James I as his sovereign. Du Moulin also made the gesture of pledging his pen to the service of the English king: “But were it so that you had use of any man’s pen, yet should you have little cause to seek further.” In the opening chapter of the main body of text, du Moulin established James I as a tolerant king who, “in the sweetness and fairness of his own nature inclined to give content unto all his subjects with free liberty of conscience. But this his [sic] inclination was over-ruled by necessity when his wisdom entered into consideration that the matter now in question was not only religion, but the peace of his estate and the security of his crown.” By establishing that the Oath ran contrary to James I’s desire to unite all Christians in his kingdom, and that it was instead necessitated by the Jesuit plot to kill him, du Moulin urged lay Catholics in England to recognize the evil of the Jesuits and the papacy for seeking first to murder the king and usurp his rightful authority. In doing so, du Moulin hoped to convince the Catholic population that the King’s Oath was in no way a violation, but went hand in hand with true Christian piety as according to Scripture. Even the first Catholic Cardinals, he asserted, “loved their king too well to assent…that the Pope may either directly or in-directly deprive him of his crown.” Minority Rights and the State: Protestant Polemic in Seventeenth-Century France.

A fine copy, most likely made for presentation to James I.

STC 7322; ESTC S111072


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Scathan shacramuinte na haitridhe ar na ĉuma don ḃráṫ[air?] ḃoŕ dord San Froinsias…

[Louvain] Iar na chur a ccló maille ré húgdardhás, 1618.


FIRST EDITION. 12mo. pp. [xii], 581 [i.e. 569], [xliii]; *⁶, A-3F⁶. Gaelic letter. [Louvain type A] Title within typographical border, ‘Emanuel Telaph’ within typographical ornaments, small woodcut initials, woodcut tail pieces, mss prayer in Latin on verso of last fly, “Joachim compensis” in early hand below. Light age yellowing some browning in places, title a little dust soiled, light occasional waterstaining. A very good, entirely unsophisticated copy in contemporary limp vellum, darkened and a little soiled, in morocco backed folding box, HP Kraus book-label loosely inserted. 

Exceptionally rare first edition of the first original work by a living author in Irish. The few works printed in Irish appearing prior to this were the Bible, liturgy, or translations. This is one of a small group of books from the first press to print and promote Irish writing in the vernacular. The press was an outgrowth of a concentration of scholars skilled in Irish and other languages at St. Anthony’s, the Franciscan college at Louvain, which acquired the press in 1611. Though their primary purpose was to train priests for the Irish and Scottish missions, they also published literary works for a wider Irish audience, later using commercial publishers (after the demise of this press). Mac Aingil [or MacCaghwell] came from an old Irish family. He was born in Co. Tyrone and early in life entered the service of Hiugh O’Neill, earl of Tyrone, as tutor to his sons. In 1604 in Spain he entered the Franciscans, and in 1606 went to the Spanish Netherlands where he helped set up the Franciscan College in Louvain, and played an active role in Irish spiritual and intellectual life. For the publication of this work the author used his Irish name Aodh Mac Aingil, although the Latin form of his name is given at the end of the book. The title means ‘A mirror of the sacrament of penance’, and the work is devotional in nature. “Although this acknowledged James I as the rightful ruler of Ireland, it also identified Ireland as a Catholic nation and demonstrates a very modern sense of national consciousness. Moreover, the work is a prominent example of how the literary language of contemporary Irish poets was used to produce a readable prose text” ODNB. 

“The word ‘Emanuel’ serves as an invocation or prayer. Another example on a Louvain book is the obscure phrase ‘Emanuel Telaph’ on the titlepage of Scathan shacramuinte (1618). The use of Emanuel as an invocation can be found in Irish manuscripts as far back as the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. … ‘It was customary with the Irish scribes to use that word at the heads of chapters and pages, implying that in the Holy Name of Emanuel they began that work, chapter, or page’.” Clóliosta – ‘Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies’. 

“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.’

ESTC S2226. STC 17157. Allison & Rogers, Catholic 489. Allison & Rogers Counter-Reformation II, 507. Bradshaw 8612. Shaaber M4. Bradshaw 8612. Best, 248. McGuinne, 35 


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LE BEAU [LA BORDE, Jean-Baptiste]


LE BEAU. [LA BORDE Jean-Benjamin] Receuil d’airs avec accompagnement & guitar.

Paris, “Cloitre Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois Chez Mr Doucet Architecte,” ms. manuscript on paper, circa 1750-60. 


Oblong 4to. pp. (iii) 112 (ix). Musical manuscript containing fifty-one ‘Airs’, ‘Vaudevilles’, ‘Villageoises’ and ‘Romances’, in brown ink for solo voice and for five-course guitar, notated in tablature, each song within a fine hand-coloured engraved border, with titles and decoration applied with stencils in gold and red, dedication to the “Marquise de Pompadour”, early shelf mark on fly. Light age yellowing, closed tear in pages 88-89, occasional minor marginal mark or stain, oil? stain to margins of pp 102-3. A fine copy in beautiful contemporary morocco by Dubuisson, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, large flowers gilt to corners, centerpiece of gilt scrolled tools with semée of small tools around a gilt stamped guitar with a floral wreath gilt above, spine double gilt ruled in compartments, richly gilt with large gilt pomegranate fleuron at centres, tan morocco title label gilt, edges double gilt ruled, inner dentelles richly gilt, blue silk endleaves, a.e.g.

A stunning and meticulously prepared manuscript with guitar tablature, illustrated in colour and gilt, with a dedication to Madame de Pompadour, most probably made for presentation to her. The manuscript is dedicated by a ‘Le Beau’ and is also signed in the colophon by him, including the name of Mr Doucet Architecte, who was undoubtedly the creator of the engraved borders. The majority of the songs, however, are works by Jean-BenjaminLa Borde and appear in his 1773 ‘Choix de chansons mises en musique par J. B. Borde, premier valet de chambre ordinaire du Roi, gouverneur du Louvre, ornées d’estampes par J. M. Moreau, dédiées à Madame la Dauphine. La Borde was valet du chambre to Louis XV from 1762 to 1774, principally as court composer. He studied with Rameau, composed many opéras-comiques and collections of chansons, wrote an important Essai sur la musique and was finally guillotined under Robespierre. La Borde was married to Adélaïde-Suzanne de Vismes (Paris, 10 novembre 1753 – Paris, 18 juillet 1832) who was a poetess and later ‘dame de lit’ of the Queen Marie-Antoinette. There are fifty-one pieces in all, including ‘Mes chers troupeaux’, ‘Viens Eglé dans la Prairie’, ‘ Ma plus chère Brebis’, ‘Un jour sur la fougère’, ‘Depuis que le cruel Amour’, ‘Adieu donc dame françoise’, ‘Depuis que l’aimable Thémire’ and others. The presentation to Madame de Pomapdour addresses her ‘For the acceuille favourable que vous faites aux Talents”. She was perhaps the most powerful person at the court at Versailles under Louis XV but was also a very important patron of the arts, Even after their romantic relationship ended, she remained in political power as well as in Louis XV’s affection until her death in 1764. 

The work is a fine example of La Borde’s use of tablature for guitar which he wrote about in his theoretical works. “In the ‘Abrégé d’un Traité de Composition’, the final chapter addresses tablature. This chapter of Laborde’s composition treatise—much like the chapter on chant sur le livre—stands out when comparing his work to those of other contemporary French authors … Rousseau offers a brief entry on “tablature” in his Dictionnaire, and defines tablature in a manner similar to Laborde’s, but he does not provide the detail that Laborde does. Rousseau and Laborde’s inclusion of the subject of tablature is more of an exception to the status quo in theory treatises of the time. The art of tablature, or in Laborde’s words, “the manner in which we notate the music for certain instruments like the guitar, the lute, the theorbo, etc.,” hardly concerns his contemporaries. Laborde treats the subject of tablature as a practical topic, describing the basics of reading tablature notation. He explains that tablature in the eighteenth century is notated using letters of the alphabet. To begin the tablature, one should draw as many parallel lines as there are strings on the instrument. Thus, each line indicates an open, or unfretted, string on the instrument. In tablature notation, the unfretted string is indicated by placing the letter a on the line which corresponds to the particular string. The letter b signifies that the first fret should be used.” Donald Craig Filar “Jean-Benjamin de Labore’s Abrégé D’Un Traité de Composition”  

 The binding is by the great C18th french Royal binder Pierre-Paul Dubuisson (1746-1762) or his Atelier. The scrolled tool used in the centerpieces on the covers are identical to tools used in his atelier. See cycopedia.org for a comparative diagram of tools especially the tools designated as pd-31b, pd-9, pd7-6, and pd-32a-2. “Pierre-Paul Dubuisson, one of the most famous bookbinders of his time, succeeded, in 1758, Antoine-Michel Padeloup as the royal bookbinder of Louis XV.” cycopedia.org. 

A stunning, most interesting, and beautifully bound musical manuscript. 


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The commonvvealth and gouernment of Venice

London, Iohn Windet for Edmund Mattes, 1599.


FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. pp. [xvi], 201, [vi], 206-230: [fleuron]⁴ A-2G⁴. Roman letter, some Italic. Grotesque woodcut on title, floriated woodcut initials, grotesque woodcut head and tail-pieces, typographical ornaments, “Hen. Stevens 1727” with price on verso of title, bookplate of the Fox Pointe Collection on pastedown. Light age yellowing, the very rare marginal stain. A fine copy, crisp and clean, on good thick paper, stab bound in its original polished limp vellum, a little soiled. 

First edition of Lewis Lewkenor’s important translation of Contarini’s major work, a source text for William Shakespeare. A Venetian patrician educated at Padua, Gasparo Contarini (1483-1542) was ambassador for Charles V and later appointed Cardinal by Pope Paul III. Among the numerous personalities he met whilst accompanying the Emperor around Europe was Thomas More. It is More’s ‘Utopia’, first published in 1516, which may have inspired ‘Della Repubblica et magistrati di Venetia’, composed in the years 1520s-1530s. Contarini’s influential work is a thorough description of the government of Venice celebrating the perfection of its Republican institutions (the Doge, Senate, tribunals and magistracies) in the age of absolute monarchies, but also suggesting changes to improve them. Its readers should ‘marvel’ at the location, origins and functioning of Venice, ‘the common market of the world’, where political ideal and reality meet to create an exemplary State run by the patriciate. ‘Della Repubblica’ was first published in Latin in 1543 and quickly translated into French (1544) and Italian (1545). 

“The Commonwealth and Government of Venice played a pivotal role in conveying the myth of 16th-century Venice to an English audience. First written in Latin by Cardinal Gasparo Contarini, it was translated into English in 1599 by Lewis Lewkenor. With a string of hyperboles, the book idealises the city as a perfect example of justice, tolerance, trade and imperial power. .. In his letter ‘To the Reader’, Lewkenor describes how travellers talk of Venice as the thing ‘most infinitely remarkable, that they had seen in the whole course of their travels’ (sig. A1v–A2r). Some people celebrate ‘the greatnes of their Empire’ and their ‘zeale in religion’ (sig. A2r). Others praise the justice system as ‘pure and uncorrupted’ (sig. A2v). However, Lewkenor also notes the ‘monstrously strange’ geography of this ‘glorious’ city. It is seated ‘in the middle of the sea’ with its ‘pallaces, monasteries, temples’ founded on marshy ‘Quagmires’ (sig. A3r). Lewkenor says many young travellers are particularly impressed by the Venetians’ ‘humanitie towards strangers’ (A1v). He describes the ‘unmeasurable quantity’ of merchandise coming from ‘all realms and countries’, but he is also struck by its multinational mixture of people. The ‘wonderful concourse of strange and forraine people … of the farthest and remotest nations’ makes Venice a ‘generall market to the whole world’ (p. 1).” BL. Shakespeare is most likely to have read this work and its influence is felt in two of his major works ‘The Merchant of Venice and ‘Othello’ “In The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare seems to confront and complicate this idea of a tolerant, cosmopolitan city. The relationship between Shylock, the Jewish moneylender and the Christians of Venice is not defined by ‘humanitie’. The trial in Act 4, Scene 1 also raises questions about the Venetian reputation for exemplary legal justice. Kenneth Muir has argued that Shakespeare must have consulted Lewkenor’s book when he was writing Othello – another play exploring the complex role of a ‘stranger’ in Venice. Muir highlights Lewkenor’s pleasure in hearing travellers’ tales of ‘paineful inconveniences’ (sig. A1v). He sees parallels in the way Desdemona listens ‘with a greedy ear’ to the painful ‘story of [Othello’s] life’ (1.3.149; 129).” BL.

A fine copy of this rare work.

ESTC S108619. STC 5642. 


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CALVIN, Jean [with] ANDERSON, Anthony

CALVIN, Jean. Foure Sermons of Maister Iohn Calvin, Entreating of Matters Very Pofitable for our Time, as may bee seene by the Preface. 

London, for Thomas Man, 1579. 

ANDERSON, Anthony. The Shield of our Safetie

London, by H. Iackson in Fleetestreate, 1581.


FIRST EDITION Thus, and FIRST EDITION. Two vols in one. 4to. 1) ff. [vi], 59, [i]. [fist]⁴, 3*², A-G⁸, H⁴ [last blank] 2) 168 unnumbered leaves. A-X⁴. 1) Roman and Italic letter. Title within line ruled typographic border, woodcut initials, historiated and floriated woodcut initials. 2) Black letter, some Roman and Italic. First leaf blank with but for signature. Title within typographic border, white on black criblée initial, typographical ornaments, “Tho. Haughton” in early hand on pastedown, “James Riddocks book 1732” on fly, “Isaac Hadley Broddell 1794” at foot of t-p, bookplate of the Fox Pointe Collection on rear pastedown. Light age yellowing, a little very minor waterstaining on first few leaves, the rare marginal mark. Fine, large margined copies, crisp and clean, entirely unsophisticated, stab bound in original limp vellum, vellum a little creased and soiled. 

First editions of these two very rare Puritan works; fine large copies in their original binding. In 1579, the Elizabethan Puritan, John Fielde, produced an unabridged text based on the original French, Foure Sermons of Maister Iohn Calvin, Entreating of Matters Very Profitable for our Time, with a Briefe Exposition of the LXXXVII. Psalme. A unifying theme nevertheless emerges from this apparently disparate collection of texts: the need for an open and sincere profession of faith, made wherever possible within a church where the gospel is purely preached, the sacraments properly administered, and God duly honoured in prayer. Central to Calvin’s thought – central, indeed, to the thought of all the major Reformers – is the idea that Christian belief is more than inner acquiescence. It expresses itself audibly in words and visibly in deeds, such that the covert or private practice of one’s faith, the claim that God requires no more than ‘worship in spirit’, is seen to compromise faith itself and to comfort faith’s enemies. Nor can faith exist in isolation. In order to grow, it must be fed by the ministrations of Christ’s church, which consistently figures in these sermons not as a temporary refuge from a hostile world, but as God’s choice instrument of salvation, an outpost of heaven. .. The note of urgency which pervades much of the Four Sermons reflects the troubled conditions of the time. .. Calvin betrays little optimism as to the course of future events in Europe.” Robert White “The translator’s ‘Introduction’ to Faith Unfeigned – Four Sermons concerning Matters Most Useful for the Present Time with A Brief Exposition of Psalm 87 by John Calvin.”

“Anthony Anderson, (d. 1593), theological writer and preacher, was, according to Tanner, a native of Lancashire, and was for many years rector of Medbourne, in Leicestershire. .. His published works, which are of a puritanic character, consist of sermons, prayers, and expositions of scriptural passages.” DNB. “Pilkington did not address the question of ghosts at any length in his writings. But some ministers who went into print on the issue clearly did so in response to actual sightings or reports among their parishioners. In a 1581 treatise on the Nunc Dimitis the puritan minister Anthony Anderson included a long discursus ‘beating down to death this error  .. that the soules of the dead depart not so from us, but that after buryall they walke in the earth, and appeare unto men’. His motive for doing so was that even as he composed the work ‘amost slandersous report is raysed of an honest and vertuous minister departed from this lyfe, that hys soule nowe walketh at this daye in his parsonage house’.” Peter Marshall.  Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England

1) ESTC S107288. STC 4439. Lowndes I 352 (1561 edn. only) 2) ESTC S100137. STC 572. Not in Lowndes.


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Vitae sanctorum patrum, sive Vitas patrum, in English: The lyff of the faders, translated by William Caxton. 

Westminster, Wynkyn de Worde, [before 21 August] 1495.


FIRST EDITION thus. Folio. five parts in one. ff. [viii], lxxxxiii, lxxxiii-CCCxlvii. 2A⁸, a-o⁸, p⁶, q-x⁸, y¹⁰, z-2t⁸, 2v-2x⁶. (lacking vv 5+6 and xx6). Black letter, double column. Small woodcut initials, xylographic white on black title ‘Vitas Patrum’, full-page woodcut of St. Jerome in his study (Hodnett 800. see fig. 22), repeated as frontispiece to all five parts, 165 column width woodcuts (repeated from 39), “Iste liber constat domina Joanna Regnas Veritas Vinsit omnia, deus caritas est” in a youthful contemporary hand in red ink with large pen-work initial ‘I’ and “IHS” above, inscriptions washed and erased from margins of rr6-7, manuscript note in C19th hand on fly, noting a copy from Thorpe’s catalogue in 1826 at a price of £59 with reference to Ames, autograph in pencil of ‘Rev. J.F. Russell’ below. Light age yellowing, title remargined at fore-edge just touching xylographic title, upper outer blank corners of Aa2 and 3 restored, just touching a few letters of prologue on verso of Aa2, small stain in upper blank margin in places, margins with some very minor occasional spot, dust soiling or thumb mark. A fine copy, crisp and clean, in beautiful dark blue straight grained morocco by Christian Samuel Kalthoeber circa 1800, covers bordered with a single gilt and double blind rule with blind dentelle border, Kalhoeber’s distinctive curved edge corner-pieces with semée of gilt pointillé and small tools, spine with double, gilt ruled, raised bands, upper, lower and two central compartments with finely worked ‘spiders web’ design filled with gilt pointillé and small tools, gilt circles to corners, title and date gilt lettered in compartments, edges gilt ruled, inner dentelles gilt, marbled endpapers, small loss of leather to lower outer corner of lower board, fractionally rubbed at extremities. In folding cloth box. 

A wonderful copy of the exceptionally rare, most important, beautifully and profusely illustrated and remarkably designed first (and only early) edition in English of this popular collection of the lives of the Desert Fathers, translated into English by the great William Caxton, his last translation, and one of his major works. First published in Latin in 1475, Caxton’s translation was based on a French edition printed at Lyon in 1486/7 by Nicolaus Philippi and printed Jean du Pré. According to the colophon, Caxton completed this translation on the last day of his life. Probably originally from Holland, Wynkyn de Worde met Caxton in Cologne in 1470, and accompanied him back to England in 1475. He then worked in Caxton’s printing shop in Westminster until Caxton died in 1492, at which point Wynkyn took over the business. The illustrations for his Vitas Patrum are particularly important as one of his earliest series of woodcuts: “Among the first cuts that De Worde commissioned are those in the Vitas Patrum.” (Hodnett p. 9).

“‘Vitas Patrum’ or the ‘Lyff of the olde Auncyent holy faders’, is a compilation of lives of the desert fathers (or eastern saints) attributed to Saint Jerome, translated into English by William Caxton in 1491 shortly before his death, and published by Wynkyn de Worde in 1495 when he had solidified his overseer-ship of the Caxton press. The emergence in 1495 of de Worde’s edition, a volume of 735 pages with 170 pictures, signals his recognition that an English Vitas Patrum would be welcomed by the buyers of books issuing from the Caxton- de Worde publishing house in Westminster – men and women, lay and religious, aristocratic and merchant. De Worde’s Vitas Patrum, twenty-seven copies of which still exist, is a magnetic subject for study: it is the only form in which Caxton’s translation is available, it is one of de Worde’s first independent productions, it is a vernacular collection of saints’ lives distinctive from the more famous Legenda aurea, and it is one of the most prolifically illustrated of Caxton’s and de Worde’s books. .. The illustrations are critical to the articulation of the printed text and also to the process of reading supported by the design. De Worde’s picture cycle stems from that in an edition of the French translation published first by Jean du pre and Nicholaus Philippi in Lyons in January 1486, which is probably the edition Caxton refers to in his prologue as the copy he followed for his translation, and again by Du Pre in Paris on June 8, 1486. De Worde commissioned forty woodcuts: the full page drawing of with Jerome and thirty-nine single column rectangular drawings. .. Twenty five of de Worde’s thirty-nine single-column woodcuts and the full-page frontispiece of Jerome are more or less versions of Du Pre’s, and another five .. are loosely related to his. However de Worde uses only about half of Du Pre’s sixty-two designs, and his own designer substitutes nine drawings not to be tracked to Du Pre.” Sue Ellen Holbrook. ‘Story, Picture, and Reading in Wynkyn de Worde’s Vitas Patrum. 

This first edition of Caxton’s translation is particularly important as it was his last, his most mature work, and is most revealing in terms of the evolution of his use the English language, something that helped set the standard form of English in use today. “The year before his death, Caxton claimed that he had adapted a new technique for translation .. he explains that some had criticised him for using “over-curyous termes whiche coude not be understande of comyn peple.” This probably refers to his tendency to transfer French words basically untranslated into his earlier works. He also notes his task is made more difficult by the fact that there is no standard form of English and that the language varies from shire to shire. To strike a balance, he says he will “reduce and translate” in a style “not overrude ne curyous” but “in a meane bytwene bothe”. A passage from ‘Of the Chylde Orphenym’ in the ‘Lives of the fathers’ seems to confirm this method. The English style, which reads more like a fairy tale than a saints life, is rich in words with Old English of Germanic roots (‘worthe’, ‘troothe’, ‘wyte’, ‘lever’) though French/Latinate words such as ‘tresoress’ and ‘orysons’ create a balance – as Caxton said – ‘between rude and curious.’ Although his word choices may have shifted somewhat, he nonetheless retains his word-for-word approach to translating.” Valerie Hotchkiss. ‘English in Print from Caxton to Shakespeare to Milton.’

The work is inscribed with a remarkable, elaborate and most intriguing contemporary manuscript exlibris, in red ink, with a large penwork initial, with motto below, almost certainly the first owner of the work. We have as yet been unable to identify the “Domina Joanna Regnas” – presumably Lady Joanna Reynes – but this was a very grand and expensive book to find in a young girl’s library in the C15th.

The beautifully worked binding is by Christian Samuel Kalthoeber. The Bl has several examples of his bindings with the identical corner-piece design of pointillé tools. One such example is BL shelf mark c19d10, a Kalhoeber binding on another hugely important incunable, the first work printed in Italy; the Cicero, De Oratore, printed at Subacio in 1465. 

A stunning, most important, and exceptionally rare English incunable; one of the finest productions of Wynkyn de Worde and the first edition of Caxton’s last great translation. 

BMC XI 197. GW M50906. Bod-inc H-116. ISTC ih00213000; Goff H-213.Ames II 89. “This is one of Wynkyn de Worde’s most magnificent typographical productions.” Duff, E. Printing in England in the Fifteenth Century. 


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[BROWNE, William]

[BROWNE, William] Britannia’s pastorals. The first booke. 

London, by Iohn Hauiland, 1625


FIRST EDITON thus. Two vols. in one. 8vo. pp. [xvi], 140 [i.e. 142], [xiv], 179, [i]. A-Y⁸. “Variant 1: (second) title page is a cancel, with ‘Haviland’ in the imprint.” ESTC. Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Woodcut printer’s device on first title, two woodcuts in text of first vol., ‘arguments’ within typographical borders, woodcut initials, grotesque woodcut head-piece, typographical ornaments, bookplate of the Fox Pointe collection on pastedown, bibliographical note in C19th hand on fly. Light age yellowing, the odd marginal spot, fore-edge margins cut a little close just shaving sidenote in a few places, very expert repair to blank margins of L7+8. A very good, clean copy in fine late C19th dark blue crushed morocco by Stikeman, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, small fleurons gilt at corners, spine with gilt ruled raised bands richly gilt in compartments with small scrolled and pointillé tools, edges gilt ruled, inner dentelles richly gilt, a.e.g. corners a little worn, extremities fractionally rubbed. 

A very good copy, finely bound by Stikeman of New York, of the first complete edition of Browne’s best-known pastoral poem. Britannia’s Pastorals is a pastoral romance in which William Browne presents the adventures of Marina, Fida, and Aletheia in five “songs” with an interpolated elegy for Prince Henry. Walter Greg describes Browne’s major works as “the longest and most ambitious poem ever composed on a pastoral theme” ‘Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama.’ The commendatory verses by John Selden, Michael Drayton, Edward Heyward, Christopher Brook, Fr. Dynne, Thomas Gardiner, W. Ferrar, and Fr. Oulde acknowledge Browne of Tavistock as a second Colin Clout. 

“Edmund Spenser was Browne’s poetic model throughout his career, most obviously in Britania’s pastorals, although he was influenced by Italian pastoral drama (specifically by Torquato Tasso’s Aminta). In Britannia’s pastorals, Browne mixes the pastoral and romantic genres, as Spenser did in the Faerie Queene, and, like Spenser, Browne attempts to write an epic that will be thoroughly English. …His greatest quality was probably his talent for natural description . The passages in which he describes what is recognizably his native Devonshire are especially fine. …In his own lifetime Browne was considered an important English poet, but his fame did not last. Still, it has often been argued that not only Milton but also such later poets as Keats, Tennyson, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning were influenced by his work, and in particular his treatment of nature.” The Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature. “Britannia’s pastorals may be the most elaborate attempt ever made to imitate ‘The Faerie Queene’ with respect to atmosphere of romance, general structure, and interlacing of many subplots. .. ‘Britannia’s Pastorals’ embodies a genuinely Spenserian tradition: intricate romance narrative in an idealised setting, passing at times into open allegory, reaching out towards moral concerns on the one hand and politics, society, literature and culture on the other.” Albert Charles Hamilton. ‘The Spenser Encyclopedia.’

A rare copy, finely bound, of the first complete edition of this important work of English pastoral poetry.

STC 3916. ESTC S105932. Lowndes I 292. Not in Pforzheimer. 


Gelli, Giovanni Battista

Gelli, Giovanni Battista. Circes. .. Translated out of Italion into Englishe by Henry Iden.

London, Iohn Cawood, 1557, [i.e. 1558 or 1559?]


FIRST EDITION [second issue?] 8vo. 148 unnumbered leaves. A-S⁸ T⁴. “Despite the title-page date, evidently printed early in Elizabeth’s reign.” ESTC. Black letter, some Italic. Title within typographical border (fractionally shaved at outer margin), grotesque and historiated woodcut initials, bookplate of the Fox Pointe collection on pastedown. Light age yellowing, title page a little dusty, with some light spotting. A very good copy, crisp and clean in C19th fine grained russet morocco by Bedford, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, spine with gilt ruled raised bands richly gilt in compartments with small scrolled and pointillé tools, edges gilt ruled, inner dentelles richly gilt, a.e.g.

One of two editions of this important, extremely rare, translation by Henry Iden of Gelli’s philosophical dialogue ‘Circe’, dated 1557; ESTC does not give precedence for the two issues. Despite the date given on the title page, internal textual evidence suggests that this edition was printed early in Elizabeth’s reign after 17 November 1558. Giambattista Gelli (1498–1563) was a Florentine man of letters, much read in the Elizabethan period even before Henry Iden published this English translation. In Observations on the Faerie Queen, 1754, Warton notes, “Circe soon became a very popular book, and was translated into English (as likewise into other languages) in the year 1557, by one Henry Iden; so that, probably, Spenser had read it; and might be induc’d to consult that Dialogue, from its mention in the preface.” 

“Every era possesses a leavening of individuals whose clarity of mind and spirit is not obscured by cultural conditioning. Such a person was Giovanni Battista Gelli, .. In his maturity Gelli was a respected member of the circle of Neo-Platonic thinkers at the Florence Academy and a valued acquaintance of Cosimo de Medici. He insisted, however, on practicing his shoemakers trade until the end of his life and refused invitations to become a man of letters solely dependant on patronage. The measure of independence the self-educated Gelli preserved for himself is evident in his thought on almost every page of his Circe, a collection of dialogues between Ulysses, Circe, and the animals she has transformed that was first published in 1549. ..his Circe ran to five Italian editions before the end of the century, .. and could have been read by Spenser in the 1557 English translation of Henry Iden. Gelli’s Circe is a fresh, surprisingly modern, even subversive work enclosed within a seemingly conventional framework. It begins with an obsequious letter of dedication to Cosimo de Medici and ends with the standard denunciation of Circe as a ‘deceitful and subtle woman by the one transformed animal (an elephant) who choses to come back to human shape. In between, Gelli gently and wittily exposes the sexism of his own and prior times – including that expressed in Aristotle’s philosophy – and shows himself to be cognisant of the limits of language itself. On almost every page the animating sentiment is that it is difficult to be human, that consciousness is a painful burden. Not the least among Gelli’s subversions is recreating the character of Homer’s Circe and endowing her with a lively, intelligent voice. The scheme of the work is borrowed from Plutarch’s ‘Whether Beasts HaveReason’ Ulysses, finally restless on Circe’s island, tells her he wishes to go back to Ithaca, and to take with him any of her menagerie who were originally Greeks. Circe .. replies that he is free to go himself, but may take with him only those countrymen whom he can persuade to become human again. … Gelli’s quite remarkable feminism .. is not muted by its playful context. No other Renaissance thinker except Agrippa sees so accurately that the inferior social and political position of women results from cultural bias and not from nature. .. Gelli stands almost alone in implying that women are as deserving of liberty and self determination as men. He expresses his feminism through humour and indirection, but does so much more ably than most of the Renaissance ‘defenders’ of women did in their formal polemics.” Judith Yarnall ‘Transformations of Circe: The History of an Enchantress.’

Very rare; ESTC records U.S. copies only at Huntington, Newberry and Univ. Illinois, (+ Imperfect at Folger)

ESTC S105721. B2r catchword “light”. STC 11709. Lowndes. 774. Not in Pforzheimer or Grolier. 


Ferrand, Jacques

Ferrand, Jacques. Erotomania or a Treatise Discoursing of the Essence, Causes, Symptomes, Prognosticks, and Cure of Love or Erotique Melancholy. 

Oxford, Printed by L. Lichfield and are to be sold by Edward Forrest, 1640. 


First edition thus. 8vo. pp. [xl], 363, [v]. a-b⁸, c⁴, A-Z⁸. [Z7 & 8 blank]. Roman and Italic letter, some Greek. Title in red and black within box ruled border with typographical ornaments, woodcut initials, typographical ornaments. Light age yellowing, small paper flaws in upper blank margin of two leaves in first quire, the occasional, mostly marginal spot or stain. A very good copy crisp and clean in modern calf, covers bordered with a double blind rule, blind fleurons at corners, spine double blind ruled in compartments, printed waste pastedowns from an early English printed Latin dictionary, all edges blue. 

Important and influential first edition in English of this rare work on lovesickness, which gives us tremendous insight into contemporary attitudes to love, anxiety, depression, and their treatment. “The original French edition was published at Toulouse in 1612, under the title Traité de l’essence et guérison de l’amour, and at Paris in 1623 as ‘De la maladie d’amour, ou melancholie erotique.’ If Robert Burton was acquainted with the first edition of this book, as he may well have been, there can be little doubt that he has taken or imitated the general method and treatment of the subject, in his Anatomy of Melancholy”. Madan. Burton certainly owned a copy of the Paris 1623 edition (N.K. Kiessling, The Library of Robert Burton, Oxford, 1988, no. 566). The translation is by Edmund Chilmead, scholar, musician, petty canon of Christ Church, and cataloguer of Greek manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (Wood, Athenae Oxoniensis, III, 350).

Jacques Ferrand, who was deeply imbued with the humanist culture of the Renaissance, refers in his work to a long tradition of thinkers and doctors: Paul of Aegina, Avicenna, Arnauld de Vilanova, Ficino and Bernard of Gordon. However the contemporary author he owes the most to was André Du Laurens whose work on love was also translated into English. Both authors believed lovesickness to be a physical disease. “Despite feeling that love is ultimately subjective, and thus, definition is futile, Ferrand eventually settles on this; ‘Love .. is a kind of Dotage, proceeding from an irregular desire of enjoying a lovely object; and is attended on by feare and sadnesse.’ Following a thousand-year medical tradition, Ferrand seriously believed love to be a physical disease.” Matthew Dimmock ‘Literature and Popular Culture in Early Modern England.’ “Ferrand’s ‘De la maladie d’amour’ the most detailed work on the subject, gives therapeutic, dietary and medicinal advice both on how to prevent the disease and how best to treat it once it has been contracted. Galenic medicine tended to work by contraries; because lovesickness was often seen as a form of melancholy, which was a disease of excessive dryness and heat, remedies for lovesickness tended to stress moisture and coolness. Baths were recommended and calming music. Because insomnia was a common symptom of lovesickness, opium was often prescribed, as it would induce sleep. .. Ferrand goes so far as to suggest clitoridectomy and cauterisation of the forehead with a branding iron in severe cases.” Sujata Iyengar ‘Disability, Health, and Happiness in the Shakespearean Body.’ Ferrand work also discusses aphrodisiacs and foods to particularly avoid to prevent from succumbing to erotic melancholy. “(His work) thus cautioned that certain foods were liable to stimulate lust and love melancholy. ‘our patient must abstaine also from all meats that are very Nutritive, Hot, Flatulent and Melancholy’ such as soft eggs, partridges, pigeons, sparrows, quails, hare and especially green geese.” Jennifer Evans ‘Aphrodisiacs, Fertility and Medicine in Early Modern England.’ Ferrand’s first edition, was criticised by the inquisition which lead to revisions in the second, particularly over his following the long standing medical leniency toward sex as therapy. Thus in his second edition Ferrand retracted his recommendation of sex as therapy for lovesickness.

A very good copy of this rare first English translation.

ESTC. S102065. STC 10829 Madan, I, p. 219. Not in Gay, Edelmann or Hull.


Boemus, Johann


Boemus, Johann. The Fardle of Facions, Conteining the Aunciente Maners, Customes, and Lawes, of … Affrike and Asie. 

London: Printed by Jhon Kingstone, and Henry Sutton, 1555. 


FIRST EDITION. [368] p. ;  8⁰. *⁴ A-Y⁸ Z⁴. “‘The treatise of Iosephus, conteyning the ordres, and lawes of the Iewes commune wealthe’, a translation of book 4, chapter 8 of ‘Antiquitates Judaicae’, leaves T7-Z2.” ESTC. Title within woodcut border, large white on black criblé initials, Cardiff Castle bookplate on pastedown, small early woodcut of Paris choosing Aphrodite pasted below, bookplate of the Fox Pointe collection on rear fly, C19th engraving of African cut out and pasted on rear pastedown. Light age yellowing, title expertly restored in blank upper margin, two small repairs to blank margins of second leaf, a little thumb marking to lower margins of first five leaves. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in late C19th black straight grained morocco by Pratt, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, small fleurons gilt at corners, spine, rebacked with original spine laid down, with gilt ruled raised bands, richly gilt in compartments with small scrolled and pointillé tools, gilt flowers at centre, edges gilt ruled, inner dentelles richly gilt, a.e.g. corners a little worn, extremities fractionally rubbed. 

A very good copy of the rare and important first English edition of books one and two of Omnium Gentium Mores, Leges et Ritus translated by William Waterman; the Fardle of Facions is considered “the first scientific approach to ethnology, (in English) portraying a ‘pleasant variety of things and yet more profit in the pith’” (Cox I, pp. 69-70). Johann Boemus (c.1485-1535) was a German humanist, canon of Ulm Cathedral, traveller, and Hebraist. His work, first published in 1520, was reprinted multiple times in the sixteenth century, with later additions, accumulating related treatises by other scholars. It influenced Sebastian Muenster’s Cosmography, and inspired the Hauptchronik of Sebastian Franck. It helped set the stage for subsequent investigations of the connections of law to culture, including Paul Henri Mallett’s Northern Antiquities. “Johannes Boemus’s popular Latin work on the manners, laws, and customs of peoples ancient and modern, Omnium Gentium Mores was first published in Augsburg in 1520. By the early seventeenth century it had appeared in twenty-three editions and five languages, including the English, The fardle of facions. Although he has been called the “first anthropologist,” Boemus draws primarily on older sources such as Herodotus rather than incorporating recent eyewitness accounts of the New World. His account of Indian “blackness” draws on Aristotle’s “one-seed” theory of conception, whereby the child’s appearance is determined by the father alone.” Loomba A., ‘Race in Early Modern England.’

Boemus’ work is interesting for not mentioning the recent accounts of travellers coming back from the New World, and Asia, even though his work could be said to have been inspired by these voyages. “Boemus, a cleric and learned humanist, resolutely kept his distance from many contemporary reports about far off people, he remained cautious as to their truthfulness, he doubted the factual and moral qualification of some of their authors. .. This was no humanist disdain of modernity .. Neither .. was Boemus ignorant of recent travel and discovery literature. The .. book had a different idea and purpose, it was meant to be a critical complement to recent travel books and to give a fundamental outline of cultural development and variety in general. .. It would not be unreasonable to take Boemus’ book as a major reference for early modern European perceptions of human culture on a global scale. Margaret Hodgen, .. takes Boemus’ book as significant for the decisive step from ‘Classical Heritage’ and ‘Medieval Prologue’ towards ‘Early Anthropology’.” Joan Pau Rubiés ‘Shifting Cultures: Interaction and Discourse in the Expansion of Europe.’

This extremely rare translation into English does not contain the original letter of dedication and the third part of the original edition on Europe, but does add, “The treatise of Iosephus, conteyning the ordres, and lawes of the Iewes commune wealthe’, translation into English of book 4, chapter 8 of ‘Antiquitates Judaicae’.

STC 3197; ESTC S102775