WARNER, William

The first and second parts of Albions England.

London, By Thomas Orwin, for Thomas Cadman, dwelling at the great north-doore of Sainct Paules Church at the signe of the Bible, 1589.


FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. Two parts in one. pp. [viii], 100, [iv], 101-167, [ix]; [par.] , A-M, N-O², P-Z, 2A². N2 bound out of order, first gathering bound out of order ([par]1 blank, here after title with its conjugate [par]4 following). [Without woodcut plate]. Black letter, titles and prefatory material in Roman and Italic. Small armorial woodcut on first title, second part with separate title within a fine woodcut border, figures of David and Moses at sides, two satyrs below, grotesques above (McKerrow & Ferguson 117), floriated, grotesque and white on black criblé woodcut initials, woodcut head and tailpieces, typographical headpieces. Light age yellowing, minor light dampstaining in places, lower outer corners of first few leaves creased, two small hole in last few leaves just touching a few letters. A charming copy, entirely unsophisticated, stab bound in an early fifteenth-century theological manuscript leaf, in double column, a little rubbed, two small holes on lower cover. Tan morocco backed folding-case, with bookplate of Robert S. Pirie

A remarkable, completely unsophisticated copy, of the very rare second edition of Warner’s poem, with the addition of two books added from the first; stab bound as originally issued, probably never with the woodcut plate. “William Warner is best remembered for his ‘Albions England’ (1586), a verse history of Britain, covering in its final edition events from Noah to the reign of James I. .. Little is know of Warner’s biography. Born about 1558 – probably in London – Warner worked as an attorney of the Court of Common Pleas in the same city, where he developed his reputation as an author and most likely associated with other men of letters.. The episodic history, Albions England, written in fourteen-sylable lines, incorporates much fictional and mythical material; its structure is influenced by Ovid. This popular work went through several editions during Warner’s lifetime, each adding material to the narrative. The first, consisting of four books, was published in 1586 and relates events through the Norman Conquest. The second (1589), consisting of six books, covers events to the accession of Henry VII.” Tudor England: An Encyclopedia.

Warner fills his account with many picturesque details many of which he elaborates on from the original source material.One such example is his account of Robin Hood. Warner dates the historical Robin Hood to the reign of King Richard I, but he tells the story out of sequence, under the reign of King Edward II, as an inset to another tale. The narrator is an unnamed hermit; he is addressing the opposition leader Thomas, Earl of Lancaster (like Robin Hood, a ‘malcontent’), who has encountered him in the woods at a time when Lancaster is a fugitive from his enemies. Warner’s immediate source for his version was evidently Richard Grafton’s Chronicle at Large (1569). Like Grafton, he makes Robin Hood into a nobleman.

“Warner’s chief work and his earliest experiment in verse was a long episodic poem in fourteen-syllable lines, which in its original shape treated of legendary or imaginary incidents in British history from the time of Noah till the arrival in England of William the Conqueror, but was continued in successive editions until it reached the reign of James I. In its episodic design it somewhat resembled Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses.’ Historical traditions are mingled with fictitious fables with curious freedom. The first edition in four books—now a volume of the utmost rarity—appeared in 1586, under the title ‘Albion’s England. … The work was brought down to the accession of Henry VII in the second edition, which included six books. .. ’Albion’s England’ in its own day gained a very high reputation, which was largely due to the author’s patriotic aims and sentiment. But his style, although wordy and prosaic, is unpretentious, and his narrative, which bears little trace of a study of Italian romance, and lacks the languor of current Italian fiction, occasionally develops an original vigour and dignity which partially justify the eulogies of the writer’s contemporaries. Thomas Nash in his preface to Greene’s ‘Menaphon’ (1589), after mentioning the greatest of English poets, remarked, ‘As poetry has been honoured in those before-mentioned professors, so it hath not been any whit disparaged by William Warner’s absolute Albions.” DNB.

Of the eight copies recorded by ESTC, the a copy at the Folger, those at Harvard and Huntington are recorded as having “woodcut plate’. The copies at the Library of Congress and Illinois both do not.  BL and Oxford Bodleian do not specify. A remarkable copy of this very rare work.

STC 25080. ESTC S119575. Pforzheimer 1058 (1st edn. only). Grolier later edns, only.


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ST. BEDE, The Venerable.

The historie of the Church of England. .. Translated, by Thomas Stapleton. 

St Omer, [Printed by Charles Boscard] For Iohn Heigham, 1622.


8vo. pp. 368, 353-504, [xvi]. A-2K, 2L. Roman letter, some Italic. Small woodcut ornament on t-p., woodcut initials, typographical headpieces, woodcut tailpieces, contemporary manuscript note in English on p.64, shelf mark with price with date 1725 on fly, bibliographical note quoting Selden on fly in early hand, bookplate of Robert S. Pirie on pastedown, another early shelf mark below. Light browning, small hole at blank gutter of t-p., fore-edge cut a little close just touching a few side-notes, an occasional minor marginal spot. A very good copy in excellent, contemporary tan morocco, probably from St. Omer, covers with gilt ruled and gilt dentelle border with quadruple blind rules, gilt oval medallion stamped at centres with gilt side pieces, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, fleurons gilt at centres, edges gilt ruled in pointillé, a.e.g.

A very handsome copy of the very rare second edition of this work, printed at the English Jesuit College of St. Omer, with the dedication adapted from the first, to Queen Elizabeth, here given to James I, in a fine contemporary binding. “Stapleton’s Bede is the first masterpiece of English patristic translation in the Renaissance. Thomas Stapleton was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford. .. He was successively lecturer and professor at the English college at Douai (founded in 1568), and professor of holy scripture at Louvain from 1590. He achieved international renown as a scholar and controversialist, deserving from the seventeenth-century memorialist Anthony Wood the title of the ‘Most learned Roman Catholic of his time”. .. His version of Bede’s history forms part of the Catholic response to Bishop Jewel’s Challenge Sermon, delivered at Paul’s Cross in London on 26th November 1559 and again on 31 March 1560, in which the future author of the Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae called upon Roman Catholic divines to demonstrate a basis in Christian literature of the first six centuries for the doctrines which they upheld and which the reformers rejected.” Irena Dorota Backus. ‘The Reception of the Church Fathers in the West.’

Stapleton’s work, first published in 1565, reveals how early English Christian history could be used by both Catholics and Protestants to attempt to demonstrate their faith’s superiority. Stapleton believed that the Elizabethan Protestants were in error in believing there was a pure British, or English Church. Protestants argued that there was a preexisting British Church which had been corrupted by Roman customs. Stapleton attempted to prove that Roman Catholicism was the original faith in England, and did so not only by providing a list of errors in the book, but by providing a gloss next to key passages in the text. Stapleton states in his introduction, “I have gathered out of the whole History a number of diversities between the pretended religion of the Protestants and the primitive faith of the English church.” This demonstrates that he was using this text to reject Protestant claims to historicity. He also calls the reader to “gather honny, lyke bees, oute of this comfortable history of oure countre, not venim like spiders.  Reade it with charitable simplicitie, not suspicious curiosite, with virtuous charite, not with wicked malice.”

“A second line of attack that Stapleton makes follows a line that every undergraduate historian should be familiar with: the primary source vs. the secondary source debate.  He points out that Bede was not only an Englishman but was also alive at the time or near enough to that of which he wrote about.  He is therefore an eyewitness, but also one who has no knowledge of later arguments, such as those between Protestants and Catholics, and as such has no agenda.  Whilst Stapleton is wrong to suggest that Bede had no agenda, it nonetheless works as a powerful statement against those like Foxe, Bale, and Parker writing some 900 years later. Through Bede, Stapleton is presenting a genuine voice from the past, unspoilt by later judgements and arguments. Thus, in Stapleton’s words. “There is no suspicion of partes taking, no prejudice of favouring either side, no feare of affection of missejudgement to be gathered upon him.  We have good cause to suspect the reports of Bale, of Fox, of Beacon and suche other, whiche are knowen to maintaine a faction and singular opinion lately spronge up, who reporte thinges passed many hundred yeares before their dayes.” Matt Phillpott. ‘Sixteenth Century Scholars.’

“The well-known Jesuit college at St. Omer was founded by Father Parsons in 1592 or 1593. All Catholic education having been prohibited in England, several colleges had been founded by Englishmen on the Continent — at Douai, Rome, and Valladolid; their primary object was the education of the clergy. Father Parsons recognized the need of a college intended in the first instance for the laity, and for this purpose he chose a spot as near as possible to England. St. Omer was twenty-four miles from Calais.” Catholic Encyclopaedia. The printing press was set up a the College in 1608

The style of the binding is unusual, though of high quality, in fine morocco. St. Omer was then part of the Spanish Netherlands in the province of Artois and the binding was probably made there or close by in the Spanish Netherlands.

STC 1779; ESTC S101390. Allison & Rogers 734.


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Basle, H. Froben 1544.


EDITIO PRINCEPS. pp. (xii) 967 (i). *6, a-z6, A-Z6, 2a-2h6, 2i4, 2k-2z6, 2A-2M6. Greek letter, preface in Roman. Title page in red and black, Froben’s large woodcut device in red, smaller woodcut device on verso of last, fine large historiated woodcut initials and white on black and strapwork headpieces, capital spaces with guide letters. Contemporary autograph at head of t-p in English hand, ‘Arthur Best Pemb.’ in later hand at side, feint marginal annotations in a slightly later hand in lead-point in places, engraved armorial bookplate of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex on pastedown, that of John Alfred Spranger below. Very light age yellowing, first leaf of text, a little dusty, title with minor stains, small waterstain in lower blank margin of first few leaves, tiny single wormhole in blank outer margin, occasional very minor marginal stain or mark. A good copy, crisp and clean, on thick paper, in contemporary English, most probably London, blindstamped calf over thick boards, covers triple blind ruled to a panel design, border of central panel with blind roll with Tudor emblems, signed H.R. (Hobson 442) centre triple blind ruled to a lozenge with the same scroll, spine with raised bands, rebacked to match, upper corners restored, extremities a bit worn, holes for ties, a.e.r.

A most interesting copy of the important Editio Princeps of Josephus’ works, in a strictly contemporary London binding with early English provenance, edited by A.P. Arlenius and S. Gelenius, which served as the basis for all later editions of the Greek text until the end of the nineteenth century. Josephus Flavius, the ancient Jewish writer of first century Palestine, wrote a number of historical, apologetical and autobiographical works which together comprise a major part of Hellenistic Jewish literature. The original Aramaic version of his first work, the Bellum Judaicum, or The Jewish War, has been lost. However, the Greek version, and the rest of his works written in Greek during his Roman exile after the destruction of Jerusalem, were preserved by the Church, because of their general importance for the history of Palestine in the early Christian period and for the curious Testimonium Flavianum to the founder of Christianity contained in the Jewish Antiquities. Josephus’ writings represent the only contemporaneous historical account to link the secular world of Rome and the religious heritage of the Bible. His greatest work is his Antiquitates Judaicae (The Antiquities of the Jews) in which he recounts the history of the Jews from creation up until the revolt of AD 66-70 and contains contemporary references to Jesus, James (the ‘brother’ of Jesus), John the Baptist, Pontius Pilate, Herod the Great, Agrippa I and Agrippa II, as well as the Sadducees, the Pharisees and the Zealots. His Bellum Judaicum (History of the Jewish War) gives a detailed account of the revolt of AD 66-70 and includes Josephus’ famous description of the siege of Jerusalem. “The Jewish War not only is the principal source for the Jewish revolt but is especially valuable for its description of Roman military tactics and strategy” (Britannica). “Josephus gives as his reason for writing this history the contradictory reports circulated either to flatter the Romans or to disparage the Jews (ib.§ 1). He himself pretends not to have flattered the Romans, though he is distinctly partial to them. He emphasizes his exactness (e.g., “Vita,” § 4); but his claim thereto is justified only when he states bare facts. He writes partly as an eye-witness and partly from reports obtained from eye-witnesses (“Contra Ap.” i. § 9); and he had already begun to make notes during the siege of Jerusalem. Both Vespasian and Titus, to whom the work was submitted, praised his accuracy.” Jewish Encyclopedia. Arlenius of Brabant was a pupil of Gyraldus and also produced the first Greek edition of Lycophron as well as an important edition of Polybius. In 1542 he travelled to Venice, where he became librarian to the Spanish ambassador, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, cataloguing Mendoza’s collection of Greek manuscripts, from whose library he obtained the manuscript to produce this edition. This work is dedicated to Mendoza. The beauty of Froben’s printing, typography and layout does justice to the importance of the text; a very handsome copy of this seminal work.

“A familiar London roll is signed H.R., with in the other compartments, Tudor emblems. There are three variants of this roll and one of them I know only two examples, one at Shrewsbury School and the other belonging to the Oxford University Press…The remarkable thing about these two examples is that one book is dated 1551 (which fits in with most of the bindings bearing other H.R. varients), but that the other is dated 1654 and is not an emboitage.” This work must have come to England shortly after printing and was probably first bound at London.

Royal provenance: Prince Augustus Duke of Sussex was the sixth son of George III. “He had liberal views and supported the abolition of the slave trade, Catholic emancipation, the removal of civil restrictions on Jews and dissenters, the abolition of the Corn Laws, and parliamentary reform. He was elected President of the Society of Arts in 1816, and from 1830-8 was President of the Royal Society. Duke Augustus built up a large library of over 50,000 volumes, including about 1,000 editions of the Bible, and many ancient manuscripts.” Royal Collection Trust.

BM STC Ger. C16th p. 463. Adams J352. Graesse II, 480. Brunet III, 569 “assez rare.” Dibdin II,130 “beautiful and rare.” Hardwood 76 “it is one of the noblest and most venerable old books I ever saw.”


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Le pratiche delle due prime mathematiche.

Venezia, per Niccolò Bascarini, 1546.


FIRST EDITION. 4to, ff. 64, final blank added for annotation. Italic letter, little Roman. Geometrical diagrams, decorated initials. T-p a bit dusty and frayed at fore-edge, faint waterstain to upper margin in places, little thumbing and marginal spotting, marginal oil stain to few outer corners, extensive slightly later ms. correction and mathematical annotation. A very good copy in contemporary vellum, traces of ties, spine reinforced with C18 patterned paper. Bookplate of Pietro Buoninsegno, Siena, 1802.


A most appealing copy of the first edition of this influential treatise on arithmetic and geometry—‘fairly practical and in many respects in advance of its time’ (Smith, ‘Rara’, 242). Pietro Cataneo (1510-74) was a mathematician from Siena with a side interest in architecture. ‘Le pratiche’ provides fundamental knowledge of arithmetic and geometry for accounting. The first part discusses the four mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) including their applications in the counting of currency of different value and weight as well as applied problems based on real life—e.g., the three jealous husbands who want to cross a river with their wives on a boat which can only hold two people at a time. The second is concerned with basic geometry, with a thorough examination of geometrical triangulation applied to measuring and subdividing allotments. The Florentine influence of his background surfaces in the choice of the word ‘biricuocolo’ to mean multiplication (Smith, ‘Rara’, 242). The slightly later annotator of this copy wrote on the final blank the procedure to extract the square and cube root of specific numbers. He also highlighted sections concerning gold and silver—e.g., calculating the number of carats before and after refinery, and the proportion of precious metals in alloys. He was probably a teacher. For a couple of sections—on the calculation of the quantity of wool as compared to the bags to transport it, the quantity of silver in coins and the payment of house rents—he added his own alternative method, calling it ‘better’ or ‘clearer for beginners’. In another, on fractional subtraction, he said it seemed to him that ‘the author had not considered’ the issue of what are known today as ‘continued fractions’, a study of which did not appear in print until 1579.


Only Michigan and UChicago copies recorded in the US.

Riccardi I/1, 317: ‘rarissimo libro’; Smith, Rara, 242; BM STC It., p., 158 (not this ed.); Bib. Chemico-mathematica, 732. Not in Brunet.




CHAUNCY, Maurice, (with) HAVENS, Arnold, (and) WINHEIM, Erhard


CHAUNCY, Maurice. Innocentia et Constantia victrix.

[Würzburg?], [s.n.], 1608. (with)

HAVENS, Arnold. Historica relatio duodecim martyrum cartusianorum.

[s.l.], [s.n.], 1608. (and)

WINHEIM, Erhard. Peregrinatio quam vocant romana. (and) Sacrarium Agrippinae.

Cologne, sumpt. Bernhardi Gualthieri, 1607.


FIRST EDITIONS. 8vo. 4 works in 1, each with separate t-p, pagination and register, pp. (xxii) 111 (i), (xvi) 77 (iii), 143 (i), (xxxii) 520. Roman letter, with Italic. Engraved t-p with biblical scenes, engraved arms of Archduke Maximilian to preliminaries and full-page engraved plate of martyrdom to first; engraved t-p with martyrs, allegorical figures and view of Cologne to fourth; woodcut device of Society of Jesus to t-ps of second and third; decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. First t-p a bit dusty, very faint waterstaining to a few lower margins, slight age browning in places, marginal repair to t-p and another of fourth. Very good copies in contemporary vellum over boards, lacking ties, yapp edges, single gilt ruled, gilt oval centrepiece with Crucifixion, ‘Gaspar Dinghens’ and ‘Anno 1611’ gilt to upper and lower cover respectively, gilt large fleurons to spine. Labels of Milltown Park Library and William O’Brien to front pastedown, C19 bibliographical notes, early casemarks, stamp of Milltown Park Library and contemporary annotation to feps, couple of shelfmarks to blank margin of first t-p.

A C17 sammelband of the first editions of Counter-Reformation works on Carthusian martyrology, pilgrimage and ecclesiastical antiquities. Maurice Chauncy (1509-81) was an English Carthusian. Having been spared martyrdom, unlike other monks from the London Charterhouse, by accepting the Oath of Supremacy after the Anglican Schism, he fled to a monastery in Bruges. His guilt for this weakness urged him to write works, including ‘Innocentia’, on the lives, customs and holy deaths of the Carthusian martyrs he knew at the time of Henry VIII. Arnold Havens (1540-1610) was Prior of the Charterhouse at Ghent. Whilst remembering those killed in London during the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII, his work provided an account of the martyrdom of twelve Carthusians from Roermond, murdered near the altar by Protestant soldiers during the Dutch revolt of 1572, as illustrated in the gory engraving. Havens called the soldiers ‘haeretici’ who carried out this ‘sacrilega barbaries’ out of ‘avarice’ for the treasures of the Church. Little is known of Erhard Winheim (fl. early C17), whose works blend learned antiquarianism, local history and Counter-Reformation devotion. ‘Peregrinatio’ transferred onto the map of the city of Cologne the route of the Seven Churches of Rome to be visited at pilgrimage—e.g. the Cathedral, St Severin’s Church and St Gereon—listing orations to be recited in front of specific altars. ‘Sacrarium Agrippinae’ (referring to the city’s Latin name, Colonia Agrippinae) was devoted to the saints and churches of Cologne, with accounts of their history. 

Gaspar Dinghens (1593?-1685) from Cologne studied theology at Louvain and was also versed in Hebrew. He joined the Dominican order in 1613 and entered a monastery in Antwerp; he was also sent on missions to Belgium and France.

  1. I) USTC 2092928; Allison & Rogers, English Counter-Reformation, I, 238. Not in BM STC Ger. C17 or Graesse.
  2. II) USTC 2079906; Allison & Rogers, English Counter-Reformation, I, 238; Graesse III, 220: ‘often found with I)…the figure of Jean Leopold is often missing.’ Not in BM STC Ger. C17.

III) Harvard, Yale and BYU copies recorded in the US.

Not in BM STC Ger. C17 or Graesse.

  1. IV) Yale and Harvard copies recorded in the US.

USTC 2133032; BL STC Ger. C17, W1068. Not in Graesse.


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SODERINI, Giovanni Vettorio


Trattato della coltivazione delle viti.

Firenze, per Filippo II Giunta, 1600.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. (x) 128 (viii) 45 (xi) 19 (i). Roman letter, little Italic. Printer’s woodcut device to t-p and last, decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Title a little dusty with little marginal worming, repaired at gutter to gatherings F-L, occasionally touching letters, light dampstaining to lower inner corner and at gutter of first and last ll., some soiling and minor repair to upper outer corner of last few gatherings. A good copy in C18 quarter mottled sheep over old vellum boards, spine gilt, later eps. Light contemporary annotation.

A good copy of the first edition of this collection of three treatises on horticulture, the most important of which—on vines and wine—by G.V. Soderini (1526-96). He was an Italian agronomist who studied philosophy and law at Bologna; after being spared execution by Ferdinando I de’ Medici for his political opposition, he was exiled to a Tuscan estate. The result of his years of forced ‘otium’, the ‘Trattato’ focuses on viticulture, examining the soil, weather and techniques which can elicit the best production of grapes and wine. The early annotator of this copy was a keen practitioner interested in the growth of vine cuttings (‘magliuoli’), ways of preserving them from worms and tying them to one another, and the best time (‘between the two moons’) to harvest grapes. Soderini also considered the nature and making of wines—e.g., sweet, ‘hot’, watered (‘acquetta alla romanesca’) or dry—and ways of giving them a specific flavour or smell with the addition of herbs. The second, shorter treatise—Bernardo Davanzati Bostichi’s ‘Coltivazione toscana delle viti’—reprises selected topics on viticulture with the addition of material on fruit trees and vegetables, and methods of killing caterpillars and worms. The third—Leonardo Giachini’s ‘In difesa, et lode del popone’ (dated 1527)—is a hilarious mock-celebration of the melon, its flavour and properties (as well as of the ‘de re rustica’ genre) set against the criticism thereof of an improbable physician ‘who wouldn’t even be good enough to castrate pigs’. An intriguing horticultural florilegium with a twist of flamboyant Renaissance satire.

USTC 856956; Simon, 622; Brunet V, 425. Not in BM STC It. C17, Oberlé, Bitting (1622 only) or Thes. Lit. Bot.


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L’agricoltura et casa di villa.

Venice, [Aldus Manutius], 1581.


FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. pp. (xlviii) 511 (i). Roman letter, occasional Italic. Woodcut vignette to t-p, decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Slight thumbing to first gathering, mainly marginal foxing and light waterstaining, couple of gatherings somewhat browned, lower outer corner of one leaf minimally torn not affecting text. A good copy in contemporary vellum over boards, raised bands, title inked to spine.

First edition of the first Italian translation, by the scholar Hercole Cato, of this important treatise on agriculture. Charles Estienne (1504-64) was a renowned physician, author of fundamental works on anatomy, and a printer along with his famous brother, Robert, with a side-interest in natural science. First published in French in 1564, ‘L’agricoltura’ featured material from an earlier Latin work of 1554 as well as essays on horticulture written by Estienne in the 1530s and 40s. Its six books illustrated how to manage a country estate and farm, grow trees, vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers, plant and harvest crops of cereals and pulses, hunt wild animals like hares, badgers and wolves, including hawking. Unlike other early manuals of husbandry, Estienne’s sought to be both encyclopaedic and didactic, providing thorough information ranging from the agricultural (e.g., how to make wine and grow different plants) to the culinary (e.g., how to make bread, oil, salted pork and chutneys) and the medical thanks to a separate table on natural remedies for common ailments (rotten or black teeth, shingles, viper poisoning, and ‘a sense of burning in the shameful parts’) or everyday problems such as how to make a drunk man stop drinking—by adding the serum of vine branches to his glass or marinating live eels in his wine. A remarkable and entertaining representative of this extremely successful Renaissance genre.

Columbia, NYBG, CRL and USC copies recorded in the US.

BM STC It., p. 237; Rénouard 228/4; Simon 227; Bitting, p. 146 (1627 ed.); Vicaire 344-46 (Latin and French eds only); Schwerdt I, 167.


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De morbis muliebribus praelectiones.

Venice, apud Giunta, 1601.


4to. pp. (viii) 236 (xvi), 125-28 misbound. Roman letter, little Italic. Woodcut printer’s device to t-p, decorated initials and headpieces. Faint waterstaining to lower outer corner of preliminaries, intermittent age yellowing. A very good copy in contemporary vellum, traces of ties, early ms. ex-libris of Jesuit Collegium and Fr. Gregorio Fanti to t-p.

Very good copy of the third edition of this important, scarce treatise on medical conditions affecting women. Girolamo Mercuriale (1530-1606) was an Italian physicist and philologist most famous for his ‘De Arte Gymnastica’ (1569) on physical therapy, exercise and well-being among the ancients. As professor of practical medicine at Padua, he wrote numerous treatises on subjects as varied as pestilence, skin diseases, poison and diseases of children. First published in 1587, ‘De morbis muliebribus praelectiones’ was entirely devoted to the ailments to which women were most prone. The prefatory letter highlighted the relevance of the medical knowledge of female physiology (‘gestation of the womb, birth and miscarriage’) for jurisprudence, quoting from Justinian’s ‘Decretum’ on issues of legitimacy and heredity. The focal points of the work are indeed menstruation, sterility, conception, pregnancy, birth and miscarriage. Each section illustrates a specific condition, its causes, diagnosis and treatment, addressing questions like the effects of different kinds of semen for conception and of ‘coitus’ on pregnant women (too much can cause miscarriage), the perils of blood clots, gonorrhea, several kinds of womb and breast inflammation, and numerous conditions related to menstruation (e.g., discolouration, excessive flux). Mercuriale ‘advocated the use of the vaginal speculum to determine the state of the uterus…and was among the first to refer to the lack of fertility among the noble class’ (Erdmann, 32). A scarce, ground-breaking and incredibly thorough study of female physiology.

Gregorio Fanti S.J. was rector of the College in Rome c.1706-10.

Erdmann, 32 (1587 edition); Not in USTC, Wellcome, Durling, Hull, Brunet, Adams or Heirs of Hippocrates.


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BRUTO, Giovanni Michele

La institutione di una fanciulla nata nobilmente. L’institution d’une fille de noble maison, traduicte de langue tuscane en francais

Paris, Jean Caveiller pour Jean I Ruelle, 1558.


16mo. in eights. ff. [72]. A-I 8 [last blank]. Italian in Roman letter, French in Italic. Small woodcut ornament on title, floriated woodcut initials, woodcut tail-pieces, “Jo. Bartault” in early hand on title, modern bookplate with “OVH” monogram on pastedown. Very light age yellowing. A fine copy, crisp and clean, in excellent C19th French citron morocco by Trautz-Bauzonnet, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, richly gilt in compartments with fine tools, red and black morocco labels gilt lettered, edges gilt ruled, inner dentelles richly gilt, combed marble endpapers, a.e.g.

Extremely rare second edition of Bruto’s influential, [particularly through its later translation into English], conduct book for young ladies, with a translation into French by Jean Bellère, first printed by Plantin in 1555, [his first book, also extremely rare]. Bruto, a Venetian, had to flee the Inquisition in 1555 and found himself in Antwerp where both this treatise and an oration to Charles V were published. The dedicatee, Marietta Catanea, was the daughter of an Italian merchant in Antwerp.

The work is addressed to Mothers on how to best educate their daughters and stresses the acquisition of traditional female virtues of chastity, piety, and humility. “Bruto, like Vives, reserves his greatest opprobrium for chivalric fiction and plays. The Bible, the teachings of the Church fathers, and narratives of virtuous women are judged to be more appropriate materials for imparting male constructs of female virtue to Women.” Monique Frize. The Bold and the Brave: A History of Women in Science and Engineering” “Giovani Michele Bruto’s ‘institutione di una fanciulla nata nobilmente’ dedicated, despite the title, to Marietta Cattaneo, daughter of a Genoese merchant living in Antwerp, pointedly warned the young woman to pattern her behaviour, not after the sumptuous ways of highborn ladies, but on the value of modest and useful domestic skills. In Protestant and Puritan England, where Bruto’s tractate was promptly translated by Thomas Salter as ‘A Mirrhor mete for all Mothers, Matrons and Maids (1579), this banishment of aristocaratic luxury was upheld as the educational ideal for the middle class.” Aldo D. Scaglione. ‘Knights at Court: Courtliness, Chivalry & Courtesy..’

“In the cultural panorama of the 16th century, multilingual editions are a testimony of an increasing interest in language learning, not only of classical languages, but also, principally, of modern ones. At this time, texts with translation on the opposite page were spreading throughout Europe, including dictionaries, grammar books and works of literature. These publications required specific skills on the part of typographers, so much so that some towns specialized more than others. La institutione di una fanciulla nata nobilmente / L’institution d’une fille de noble maison, of which women were the subjects and probably the recipients, is an example of the didactic bilingual production of the period. This manual on the education of young ladies was composed in Italian by Gian Michel Bruto and translated into French by Jean Bellère; it was first published in Anvers in 1555 by Christophe Plantin, who was just beginning in the business. A linguistic analysis of two texts with translations on the opposite page makes it possible to evaluate the work of the French translator, and to understand how a treatise designed with a specific educational aim could turn into a didactic instrument for language learning.” Irene Finotti. ‘Femme et bilinguisme.’

We have only been able to find two recorded copies of this work; USTC records one at Florence at the Biblioteca del Seminario Arcivescovile Maggiore, and Worldcat locates another at the Bibliothèque Mazarine. ABPC records no copy at auction.

USTC 817083. Brunet I 1307. See Hull ‘Chaste Silent and Obedient” 155 for the English translation. Not in Erdmann.


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Paraphrasis Psalmorum Davidis Poetica. … Eiusdem Buchanani tragœdiæ duæ, Iephthes, & Baptistes.

Amsterdam, ex officina Henrici Laurentij. 1618.


12mo. Three parts in one. pp. 69, 64-65, 72-431, [i]. A-S¹². Italic letter, some Roman. Woodcut ornament on title, contemporary autograph of “Row: Woodward” at foot of title, his motto above “De juegos el mejor es con la hoja”, hand written bookplate of the ‘Earl of Westmoreland’ 1856 on pastedown, Robert S Pirie’s bookplate on fly with his pencil purchase note. Light age yellowing. A very good copy in contemporary vellum over thin paste boards, yapp edges, C19th paper labels on spine with title and shelf mark, a.e.r.

A very rare edition of this collection of three important neo-Latin works by George Buchanan, with a most interesting and important English provenance; from the library of Rowland Woodward a close friend of John Donne, who addressed many poems to him. Woodward owned a copy of Donne’s Pseudo-Martyr, presented to him by Donne, now in the Bodleian (shelf mark Arch H. e. 83) which also has Woodward’s autograph and motto. Keynes describes it thus; “Another presentation copy, now in the library of John Sparrow, was given by Donne to his friend Rowland Woodward. At the top of the title-page, here reproduced is written the Spanish motto ‘De juegos el mejor es con la hoja’.(of games the best is with the leaf) .. A short account of Woodward will be found in Pearsall Smith’s life and letters of Sir Henry Wotton, Oxford 1907. .. Donne addressed poems to him and to other members of his family, and he may have owned the Westmorland MS. of the Poems. (See Grierson II Lxxxi). Another book from his library, one volume of ‘Memoires de L’Estat de France sous Charles Neufiesme’ 2nd edn, 1578’, is in the possession of Mr. Desmond Flower. It has the signature and motto and carries the hand written bookplate of the Earl of Westmorland, 1856.” Keynes p. 7.

“The late Sir Edmund Gosse concludes the first volume of his ‘Life and Letters of John Donne’ (I899) by saying, “There is none of Donne’s friends of whom we would more gladly know more than of Rowland Woodward.” He states that nothing is known of him but his name, the epistles that Donne wrote to him, and the gift to him by Donne of a copy of the Pseudo-Martyr; he concludes that the important Westmoreland MS. also was given to him by Donne. …Mr. Pearsall Smith .. establishes that Woodward was at Venice with Wotton in 1605; during his residence there he was sent as a spy to Milan and imprisoned by the Inquisition. In 1607, while bringing home dispatches, he was attacked by robbers in France and left for dead. On February 2, 1608, £60 was paid to his brother Thomas for Rowland’s “surgeons and diets.” In 1608 he entered the service of the Bishop of London. In I625 he petitioned for a pension. In I630 he became Deputy Master of Ceremonies, and died in I636-I637” M. C. Deas “A Note on Rowland Woodward, the Friend of Donne.” The Review of English Studies, Vol. 7, No. 28 (Oct., 1931), pp. 454-457. Deas also points out the later connection between Woodward and Francis, Earl of Westmorland, who must have acquired Woodward’s books, including the Pseudo-Martyr presentation copy and the important “Westmorland” manuscript, along with this work. Keynes translates the ‘Hoja’ as ‘leaf’ but it can also mean ‘blade.’

“For some two hundred years the paraphrasing of the Psalms in Latin verse attracted many poets to try their hand, including some of Europe’s best. The object was not primarily devotional or pedagogical, and they were not, at least at first, set to music or used in churches; the impulse was literary and artistic, a response to the challenge of recasting the poetry of the ancient Hebrews, usually accessed in Latin translations, into classicizing verse. The genre became especially popular in the years after 1530, when numerous versions were written, some in the elegiac metre and others in a variety of mainly lyrical metres. George Buchanan took the latter path, and was actually the first to produce a complete set, in which he used some thirty metres for the 150 psalms. He began work when in France, continued them in Portugal (helped in part by a period of confinement near Lisbon decreed by the Inquisition), and finished them in the early 1560s, soon after his return to Scotland.” Roger Green

“The most famous neo-Latin drama written by an author from Britain was the tragedy of Iephthes sive votum (Jephthah, or the Vow, 1553), inspired by the biblical story of Jephthah (Judges 11). In a poignant example of tragic irony, Jephthah made a vow that if granted victory, he would sacrifice the first living thing that he met on his journey home – only to be greeted by his daughter. The same author also wrote the successful gospel-based Baptistes sive calumnia .. on the beheading of John the baptist. These dramas were written in France by the Scottish humanist George Buchanan (1506-82). They dealt with religious beliefs – for instance, about the status of vows or about the relation between God and Evil – but also with practises of worship.” Andrew Hiscock, Helen Wilcox “The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern English Literature and Religion.”

An extremely rare edition with most important English provenance,

Not in BM STC Low countries C17th. Shaaber B 797. See Keynes p. 6-7.


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