SANDYS, George


SANDYS, George A paraphrase upon the divine poems

London, [Printed by John Legatt], 1638


FIRST EDITION thus Folio pp. [xxii], 55, [xiii], 171, [i], 15, [iii], 33, [i]. Variant 2 “‘A paraphrase upon the Lamentations of Ieremiah’ has separate pagination, and divisional title on 3A1r. Variant 2: with the latter divisional title cancelled.” ESTC. Divisional title here from another edition mounted in place of the cancel. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut printers device on first title, woodcut musical notation in text. Very light age yellowing, rare marginal spot or mark. A fine, large paper copy, crisp and clean, in excellent contemporary English calf over boards, covers double blind and single gilt ruled to a panel design, large fleurons gilt to outer corners, fine large olive branch wreath gilt to centres, spine double gilt ruled in compartments, gilt lettered red morocco label, remains of ties. a.e.r., covers a little scratched, upper joint repaired, extremities a little rubbed.

A beautiful, large paper copy of the enlarged second edition of this important work of poetry by Sandys, that first appeared in 1636, but without Lawes’ music, and several other parts.

“Sandys turned to versifying the Book of Psalms in the early 1630s probably shortly after the publication of the great 1632 edition of the Ovid. His full psalter was first published in 1636; in 1638 a considerably expanded edition appeared, adding paraphrases of the Book of Job and the other ‘poetical’ parts of the Bible, as well as musical settings by Henry Lawes. This edition was a considerable event in the annals of Caroline poetry, carrying tributes to Sandys from brother-poets Thomas Carew, Edmund Waller, Henry King, and Sidney Godolphin, among others, as well as musical settings of the psalms by Henry Lawes, Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. It is a complex and fascinating work; in many ways it is the most important example we have of a ’Laudian’ style in English religious poetry, but it also includes covert criticisms of the powerful prelate and the ecclesiastical polices of the Caroline government. … When Sandys was preparing his Psalter, the Church of England was going through a period of drastic upheaval. Charles I and Laud, working as a team were engaged in an active program of Church reform .. The most immediately obvious feature of the Laudian changes was a new emphasis on visual splendour .. The Laudian pursuit of ‘the beauty of holiness’ was no shallow aestheticism, but a vital part of a coherent theological system. Sandy’s Psalms revel in the freedom which this new religious style encouraged. The magnificence of Old Testament worship was used as a justification for this new, and -to the iconophobic puritan – deeply shocking policy, and the sensuous appeal of the Old Testament temples is repeatedly emphasized in Sandys psalms… Sandys’s version contrasts sharply with the more conventionally Protestant values enshrined in Sir Philp Sidney’s version ..Nothing like this had been done to the holy text in Englsih before Sandys: the Protestant versions of Sir Philip Sidney or George Wither are spartan by comparison.” James Ellison. ‘George Sandys: Travel, Colonialism, and Tolerance in the Seventeenth Century’.

Sandys was also deeply interested in America. He was one of the undertakers named in the third charter of the Virginia company and later treasurer and member of its Council. His celebrated translation of Ovid was actually completed in America. A beautiful large paper copy of this important work of English poetry.

STC 212725. ESTC S116693. Pforzheimer 852. “The divisional title to the Lamentations of Ieremiah appears to be cancelled in all other recorded copies except the large paper presentation copy in the Huntington Library.” Lowndes 2189. Not in Grolier.
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