[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. 


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HALL, Joseph

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

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


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

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works of the celebrated theologian and author Joseph Hall, published four years after his death containing many as yet unpublished including two important pieces of autobiography, many of his unpublished sermons on a multitude of subjects, and several controversial writings.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

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

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


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Ignatius his Conclave or his inthronisation in a late election in hell: wherin many things are mingled by way of satyr.

London, Printed [by Augustine Mathewes] for Iohn Marriott, 1634.


12mo. pp. [vi], 135, [iii]. A-F¹². Roman letter, some Italic. Title within single rule, small woodcut initials, typographical headpieces, early C18th engraved armorial bookplate of Cholmley Turner on pastedown, bookplate of David and Lulu Borowitz on first fly, Robert S. Pirie’s on verso. Light age yellowing, some light scattered foxing, occasional marginal mark. A very good copy in contemporary sheep, covers bordered with a double blind rule, edges sprinkled red, head of spine chipped with minor repair, some scuffing.

A very good copy of the rare third edition in English, the first published with Donne’s name on the title-page. “Donne’s ‘Conclave Ignatii’ or ‘Ignatius his Conclave’, an attack on Bellarmine and the Jesuits, the third of his controversial writings, though the second to be published, was composed in 1610 and published in early 1611 … Conclave Ignati is a vigorous, amusing, and sometimes scurrilous satire, but it received little notice from Donne’s biographers until it was discussed in Gosse’s book. .. It has been suggested that the form of the Satire was to some extent derived from the ‘Satyre Ménippe’, and its supplement ‘le Supplément du Catholicon, ou nouvelles des regions de la lune’, 1595. Although the book was anonymous until 1634 there is in the Epistle ‘The printer to the reader’ a veiled reference to the Pseudo-Martyr. .. The first edition of the English version was also published in 1611, having been translated, in Healy’s opinion, by Donne himself. The rendering was free, but the book, having been thought out and composed in Latin, was not readily recast, so that the English version has lost some of its edge. Donne himself, as implied in his preface regarded the book as too undignified a production to be publicly acknowledged, though his name appeared on the tittle-pages of the English editions published after his death.” Keynes. “John Donne’s  Ignatius His Conclave is a satirical attack on the Society of Jesus, which was founded in 1540 by Ignatius of Loyola. Printed anonymously in 1611, the work appeared in both Latin and English just months apart; the former, a duodecimo edition with the title Conclave Ignati, was entered in the Stationer’s Register on 24 January, and the latter, also printed in duodecimo, on 18 May. … T. S. Healy points out that although the dates of publication for the English and Latin versions do not indicate which text was written first, the English was most likely” Altman, Shanyn Leigh. “Ignatius his Conclave”. The Literary Encyclopedia.

“In the prose satire ‘Ignatius his Conclave’, Donne positions Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, as the villain of his story, competing with various figures to enter the coveted ‘secret space’ in hell, the room where one would be closest to Satan’s throne. Toward the end of the satire, Donne imagines that the universe, newly expanded by Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler, will allow the Jesuits, in the near future, to colonise the Moon. As Lucifer explains, ‘Galilaeo the Florentine’ will ‘draw the Moone, like a boate floating upun the water, as neere the earth as he will,’ so that ‘all the Jesuites [can] be transferred’. Donne’s demonstration of the colonizing power of the Jesuits, however humorous, carries with it a serious undertone, in particular anxieties over the Protestant role in the conquest of both the new World on earth and the new world(s) in space.” Judy A. Hayden ‘Literature in the Age of Celestial Discovery: From Copernicus to Flamsteed.’

“Cholmley Turner was a wealthy country gentleman, with properties in Northallerton and along Tees side, as well as lead mining interests in the North Riding. Returned as a Whig MP for Northallerton in 1715, he followed Walpole into opposition in 1717..” The History of Parliament.

STC 1729. ESTC S109801. Grolier/Donne 8 (this copy). Grolier-Wither to Prior  278. Keynes, Donne 8


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All the vvorkes of Iohn Taylor the water-poet.

London, J. B[eale, Elizabeth Allde, Bernard Allsop, Thomas Fawcet] for James Boler 1630.


FIRST EDITION thus folio pp. [xiv] 148 [ii] 1-93, 92-200, 225-343, [i] 1-14, 13-146 (lacking initial blank), [A-N⁶, O², 2A-2Q⁶, 2R⁴, 2S², 3A-3K⁶; ²3A-3L⁶, ²3M⁸.] Roman and italic letter, double column. Floriated and grotesque woodcut initials, large grotesque tail-pieces, woodcut and typographical head-pieces and text decorations, 25 column-width woodcut portraits of monarchs, William I to Charles I, 155 small woodcut heads of British rulers, two woodcut text illustrations, two t-p’s; the first engraved “by Thomas Cockson, architectural, surrounded by nautical instruments, vignette at top showing Taylor entertaining a passenger, another, below, containing his portrait; inscription on title reading roughly as the title to the imprint; reproduced Johnson” (Pforzheimer), the second t-p with woodcut compartment above (McKerrow and Ferguson 229) and headpiece at bottom (Plomer 49), “Ex Dono Authoris” in contemporary hand at foot of engraved additional title, engraved bookplate of the Inglis family with motto “Recte faciendo securus” cut to margins and laid down on front pastedown. Light age-yellowing, very minor occasional spotting and light stain, small tear restored to lower outer corner and fore-edge of Oo1 affecting a few letters recto and verso, fore-edge of Gg3-6 remargined, just touching a woodcut, engraved title restored at gutter. A good copy, in attractive early 19th century straight-grained red morocco, covers with wide blind interlacing scroll in a geometric design, spine with blind worked raised double bands, gilt lettered and numbered in two compartments, blind stamped fleurons to remaining, edges gilt hatched at corners, turn ins gilt ruled, a.e.g. spine a little faded, light rubbing to extremities.

First collected edition of Taylor’s works, containing pieces previously unpublished, a presentation copy form the author. Taylor was a self-made celebrity of early Stuart London, ex-navy, he was a collector of wine dues from Thames cargo before his dismissal for refusing to buy his position (here described in ‘Taylor’s Farewell, to the Tower Bottles’). He turned to versifying, producing heavily subscribed pamphlets and attracting great patrons: Thomas Dekker provides a commendatory poem and Ben Jonson was friendly. In 1616 he was commissioned to produce the water festival for Princess Elisabeth’s marriage to the Elector Palatine, and for this was rewarded with a trip to Bohemia (all described with commendatory verses). Taylor enjoys talk of foreign parts: there are references to Virginia and Powhatan, and satires are made on the Persian, Bermudan and native American languages (the latter a praise for tobacco consisting of coughing and spluttering noises). Serious accounts from interviews are offered of sea battles against the Spaniards, Turks and Portuguese, in the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf, in 1616 and 1624, as well as an imaginary audience between ‘The Great Mogoll of Agra’ and Taylor’s enemy the poet Thomas Coryate. Taylor’s literary satires stretch to Shakespeare (“If we offend, it is with our good will, we came with no intent, but to offend, and show our simple skill”, cf. Bottom’s speech in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’). He also carried out and described water-related stunts, e.g. sailing from London in a paper-boat (and of course sinking).

“John Taylor chronicled his adventurous life and passed judgement on his age in a stream of shrewd and witty pamphlets, poems, and essays. His writings allow us to piece together the world of a London waterman over the space of forty years, from the reign of James I to the aftermath of the civil war. His ready wit, restless ambition, and bonhomie soon made him a well-known figure in the Jacobean literary world and at the royal court. Claiming the fictitious office of ‘the King’s Water-Poet’, he fashioned a way of life that straddled the elite and popular worlds. Taylor published his thoughts—always trenchant—on everything from politics to needlework, from poetry to inland navigation, from religion and social criticism to bawdy jests. He was a more complex and contradictory figure than is often assumed: both hedonist and moralist, a cavalier and staunch Anglican with a puritanical taste for sermons and for armed struggle against the popish antichrist.”  Bernard Capp ‘The World of John Taylor the Water-Poet 1578–1653.’

ESTC S117734. STC 23725. Alden 630/178. Pforzheimer 1006 “Not all the pieces here included have survived in earlier separate form. Neither are all of Taylor’s works issued prior to this date of collection contained in it. The selection is, nevertheless, a comprehensive one and copies in sound, clean condition … are uncommon”. Lowndes VII 2587 “This volume contains many pieces of which no separate editions are known to be extant”. Grolier ‘Wither to Prior’ 862.


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SANDYS, George


A paraphrase upon the divine poems.

London, [Printed by John Legatt, sold] at the Bell in St. Pauls Church-yard [i.e. the shop of Andrew Hebb], 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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The Two Noble Kinsmen Presented at the Blackfriars by the Kings Maiesties Servants, with Great Applause.

London, Thomas Cotes, for John Waterson, 1634.


FIRST EDITION, 4to. pp. (ii), 88, (ii). pi1(=N2), B-M4, N1. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut printer’s device on title, typographical headpiece and opening initial, Selbourne library stamp just touching text on verso of title and H2 recto, note on front endpaper “Halliwell’s Sale. May 1856. Lot 331. William Tite,” with note in another hand “This binding cost me £1.18.0.” Light age yellowing, title fractionally dusty, small rust hole to G4 touching two letters, signature letter of B3 just shaved in lower margin, very small repairs to gutter of title, small hole repaired in blank margin of M2, blank outer corner repaired on last two leaves. A very good, crisp copy in fine C19th red morocco by Bedford, covers bordered with double gilt rule, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, fleurons gilt to centres, edges gilt ruled, inner dentelles richly gilt, all edges red, extremities fractionally rubbed.

Exceptionally rare and important first edition, the only quarto edition, printed by Thomas Cotes who was also the printer of Fletcher’s ‘The Faithful Shepherdess’ (1629) and Shakespeare’s ‘Poems’ (1640). The play had not been included in the first folio of 1623, and did not find its way into the subsequent Shakespeare folios; but the quarto edition became the basis of the 1679 Beaumont and Fletcher folio text. The title states that it was ‘written by the memorable worthies of their time; Mr. Iohn Fletcher, and Mr. William Shakespeare. Gent,’ and modern scholarship has identified Shakespeare as the author of act I, act II scene 1, and act V.

Fletcher collaborated regularly with Beaumont, however this collaborative work between Fletcher and Shakespeare is unique. Based on Chaucer’s ‘Knight’s Tale,’ it was produced in either 1613 or 1614. ‘The Two Noble Kinsmen’ is set in ancient Greece during a war between Athens and Thebes. The narrative follows the title characters, Palamon and Arcite, noble youths whose friendship is destroyed by their mutual love for the beautiful Emilia. The subplot deals with the love and eventual madness of the Gaoler’s Daughter, who falls hopelessly in love with Palamon. The play also has echoes of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ as two of the major characters, Theseus and Hippolyta, also appear in the earlier play. The Rivals, a popular adaptation of the play by William D’Avenant, appeared in 1668 and 1669.

“The titlepage of The Two Noble Kinsmen states that it was ‘written by the memorable worthies of their time; Mr. Iohn Fletcher, and Mr. William Shakespeare. Gent’. Shakespeare has been identified as the author of act I, act II scene 1, and act V. The play was created in 1613 or 1614. The morris dance in act III scene 5 is related to the second antimasque dance in Francis Beaumont’s The Masque of the Inner Temple and Grayes Inne. The masque was performed as part of the wedding celebrations for James I’s daughter Elizabeth and Frederick, Elector Palatine on 20 February 1613. The name of Palamon, one of the principal characters in The Two Noble Kinsmen, is referred to in Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair, first performed on 31 October 1614.The title-page of the quarto states that The Two Noble Kinsmen was ‘presented at the Blackfriars by the Kings Maiesties servants.’ A reference to ‘our losses’ in the play’s prologue suggests that it was written after the Globe burnt down on 29 June 1613. So it was perhaps written specifically for the Blackfriars playhouse. The Two Noble Kinsmen may have been considered for performance at court in 1619-1620. The inclusion of the names of two hired men (Tucke and Curtis) in the quarto’s stage directions suggests another revival in 1625-1626, when both were with the King’s Men. It has been suggested that the roles of Palamon and Arcite were originally played by John Lowin and Richard Burbage. The much younger actors Nathan Field and Joseph Taylor may have been intended for the roles in the 1619-1620 performances. (The) quarto, 1634 is thought to have been printed from a scribal transcript, to which revisions were made for performances in 1613-1614 and a revival in 1625-1626.” British Library, “Shakespeare Quartos.”

This copy is presumably the one offered in the Tite sale in 1874, also in red morocco by Bedford., lot 2762, which was sold to Hazlitt. William Carew Hazlitt (1834-1913) was a bibliographer and Shakespeare collector, grandson of the essayist William Hazlitt. Hazlitt published extensively on early English literature and in 1878 Mr. Huth engaged W.C. Hazlitt and F.S. Ellis to catalog his collection, the former cataloging English works, and the latter foreign. Hazlitt was also an assiduous collector and gathered in the course of his lifetime an impressive library of Shakespeare works and source texts, the basis for his Shakespeare’s Library, published in six volumes in 1887, an early and important edition of the works. The collection, itself of great literary importance, was sold in New York, 1918.

First editions of Shakespeare quartos have always been the holy grail of bibliophiles and collectors of British literature, immensely sought after as the high water marks of British culture and world literature, especially as these ephemeral printings appear so rarely on the market. They are considerably rarer than the folios. A handsome copy of this wonderful and rare work with distinguished provenance.

ESTC S106283 STC 11075. Greg II, 492(a); Pforzheimer 899.


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BUTLER, Samuel

Hudibras, in Three Parts, Written in the Time of the Late War: Corrected and Amended. With Large Annotations, and a preface, by Zachary Grey, LL.D.. Adorned with a new Set of Cuts. Vol. I (II).

Cambridge, J. Bentham, Printer of the University, for W. Innys, 1744.


8vo. Two volumes. Volume I: (xxxvi) + list of subscribers + pp. 440. Volume II: pp. 446 + (24). Frontispiece portrait of the author, engraved by George Vertue. In full modern calf antique. Fine copy.

Contains William Hogarth’s “Small Hudibras Series,” 17 illustrations re-engraved for this edition by J. Mynde (Ronald Paulson: Hogarth’s Graphic Works, 1965. Vol. 1, p. 125).

“Copies in fine condition are in considerable reques” (Lowndes). “Grey’s has formed the basis of all subsequent editions.” (Enc.Brit. 11th Ed.)

Lowndes: 335. Brunet: 15803.


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The vision of Pierce Plowman newlye imprynted after the authours olde copy.

London, Owen Rogers, 1561.


4to. 256 unnumbered pages. [cross]², A-2H⁴, ²I². Without, as nearly always, the Crede, an unconnected second work. Black letter. Title with small woocut ornament, floriated and white on black criblé initials, extensive marginalia in a later hand, bibliographical notes on on front free endpapers in the same hand, “S. Sandes. ex dono p. sherwood **?. 1681” shelf mark above, bookplate of ‘Waldo Bryant’ on pastedown. Title page fractionally yellowed early price mark at head, browning to 4 leaves. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in C17th speckled calf, covers blind ruled to a panel design, blind fleurons to corners, rebacked circa 1900, spine with raised bands fleurons gilt in compartments, red morocco label gilt.

Exceptionally rare copy of the fourth edition of Piers Plowman. The Vision of Piers Plowman is considered the most important work in Middle English with the exception of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and is attributed to William Langland. It is thought to have been written between 1360 to 1399, and describes the vision of the poet set in the Vale of Berkeley and the adjacent Malvern Hills. It reflects, among other things, the author’s concern with the corruption of the Church, the merits of poverty, and the supreme virtue of love. Langland began the poem in about 1370 when he was forty five and continued to update and enlarge the work over the next twenty years. The manuscripts attest to this development and appear first in eleven parts then in twenty and finally in twenty three. It was first published in 1550 during the reign of Edward VI in twenty parts, which this edition copies.

“Practically no aspect of English medieval life passes without comment in Piers Plowman. The text draws upon a number of literary forms—among them the beast fable, sermon, and debate—but Langland is primarily a satirist working within a complex allegorical dream vision. In it Langland grapples with the most serious questions of his generation, so he must be viewed in the context of the religious, social and economic upheavals sweeping mid-to late-fourteenth-century England. Piers Plowman is a series of quests, of searches for answers as the dream narrator Will goes from authority to authority. The object of the search, however, changes as the poem proceeds. First the search is for what is expected of the Christian living in the world, then its object becomes Truth and salvation, and this transforms into a quest for Dowel, Dobet and Dobest (that is, do well, do better, and do best), which becomes in turn a vision of Faith, Hope, and Charity, which at length returns the Dreamer to the human world. The poem concludes with the beginning of yet another quest as Conscience vows to become a pilgrim ‘and walken as wide as the world lasteth, To seken Piers the Plowman’” The Poetry foundation.

“What is truly exceptional about Langland is the kind, and the degree, of his poetic imagination. (…) Sublimity—so rare in Gower, and rarer still in Chaucer—is frequent in Piers Plowman. (…) The great vision wherin the poet beholds ‘the sea, and the sun, and the sand after’ and sees ‘man and his make’ among the other creatures, has in it a Lucretian largeness which, in that age no one but Langland attempts. It is far removed from the common, and beautiful, descriptions of nature which we find in medieval poetry. (…) It belongs rather to what has been called the ‘intellectual imagination’ (…) This power of rendering imaginable what before was only intelligible is nowhere, I think, not even in Dante, better exemplified than in Langland’s lines on the Incarnation.” CS Lewis ‘The Allegory of Love.’

“The crede (…) is as usual laking. Its rarity, about half a dozen copies have survived, is probably due to contemporary proscription because of its Wycliffite doctrine. (…) Except as linked in the title, the Crede has no connection with the Vision” Pforzheimer, 799. A very good copy of this most important work of English poetry. All C16th editions are extremely rare.

ESTC S114908. STC 19908. Pforzheimer, 799. Hayward English poetry no. 12. Lowndes V 1888 “The Crede .. is very seldom found in the volume, though mentioned in the title page.” Ames IV 2845.


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HALL, Joseph


Mundus Alter et Idem, sive Terra Australis ante hac semper incognita longis itineribus peregrini academici nuperrime lustrata.

Hanover, Sumptibus hæredum Ascanij de Renialme: per Gulielmum Antonium, 1607.


8vo pp. (16) 224, (5). §⁸, A-O⁸. Five large engraved folding maps. Roman letter, some Italic. Engraved title with a fine border with figure of Mercury above and a cartographer and a voyager at sides below, floriated woodcut initials and headpieces grotesque woodcut tail pieces, armorial bookplate ‘Nordkirchen’ on pastedown. Light age yellowing, the odd marginal stain or spot. A very fine copy, crisp and clean in excellent contemporary vellum over boards, yapp edges, covers bordered with a double rule, fleurons to corners, large strap-work oval stamped at centres, all formerly gilt, remains of green silk ties.

A particularly fine copy of the second edition of Joseph Hall’s ferocious satire; one of the first works to appropriate the style of a genuine travel account for fictional purposes, beautifully illustrated with a series of fictional maps that incorporate real maps. “In appearance and structure, Mundus Alter et Idem resembled many travel accounts being produced by printers in England and on the Continent. The first Latin edition was printed in Frankfurt, the English editions, presumably translated by Joseph Healy, in London in 1609 and again in 1613 or 1614.

Like other travel accounts, it included a series of maps, including a world map that situated this newly described territory in relation to known places. Hall’s elaborate descriptions of such locales as Tenter-Belly with its provinces of Eat-allia (also known as Gluttonia) and Drink-allia are pure farce, drawing strength from resemblances to medieval and contemporary travel accounts by such authorities as Mandeville, Peter Martyr, and Ralegh.” Peter C. Mancall. ‘Hakluyt’s Promise: An Elizabethan’s Obsession for an English America’.

“Mundus alter et Idem is regarded as a foundational text in the imaginary voyage tradition. Hall’s satirical story tells of the adventures of a lone European voyager Mercurius Britannicus, who travels on the appropriately named ship Fancie to Terra Australis and spends 30 years there. The southern world discovered is divided into four parts, with the names of: ‘Crapulia (Tenter-belly in the 1609 English adaptation), which borders the Indian Ocean and contains the provinces of ‘Pamphagonia’ (‘Gluttonia’) and ‘Yvronia’ (Drinkallia), a place where to be a leader one must be obese; Viraginia (Sheelandt) a lawless republic of only women; ‘Moronia’ (Foolania), a land of fools and folly, including religious folly; and ‘Lavernia’ (‘Theevingen’), home to criminals and crime. (…) In its Latin original Mundus alter et idem featured five engraved folding maps, one showing the four regions of the southern continent as almost touching South America, Africa and Asia.” Paul Longley Arthur ‘Virtual Voyages: Travel Writing and the Antipodes 1605-1837’.

Hall wrote the work for private circulation, and did not intend it for publication. It was not clearly ascribed to Hall by name until 1674, when Thomas Hyde, the librarian of the Bodleian, identified “Mercurius Britannicus” with Joseph Hall. On the other hand Hall’s authorship was an open secret, and in 1642 John Milton used it to attack Hall by arguing that the Utopia and New Atlantis had a constructive approach lacking in Mundus Alter.

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

The first edition was in fact printed at London (c. 1605) not Frankfurt as stated on the title. The second edition of 1607 contained both quires printed at London and at Hanover; STC states of this variant of the second edition “copies with imprint: Hannoviæ, per Gulielmum Antonium, sumptibus hæredum Ascanij de Renialme, 1607 apparently never have London-printed quires mixed in and therefore do not qualify for STC.” STC 12685.3.

A rare and important work.

BM STC Ger. C17th H186. Alden 609/60 adds others. Nordenskold III 482. Unrecorded by the women’s bibliographies. “A pleasant invective against the characteristic vices of various nations from which, it is said, Swift borrowed the idea of Gulliver’s Travels.” Lowndes III 980.


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Comedies, Histories and Tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies

London by Tho Cotes, for Robert Allot, 1632.

Price on request

Folio, pp. (xx) 303 (i) 232, 419 (i). Text in double column, prefatory matter single, Roman and Italic letter. Ionic head and shoulders English portrait of Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout on title page in unusually fine impression (the author’s best known representation), woodcut initials and headpieces. Address “To the Reader (by Ben Jonson)” inlaid on blank. Lower outer corner of first three leaves slightly soiled. Wine (?) stain to blank outer corner of next three, reappearing very occasionally in text, a few marginal tears and spots, light age yellowing, last leaf dusty. A very good, clean, well margined copy (fuller than Pforzheimers and the same width) in handsome late c. 17 calf spine with gilt compartments, morocco label, arms of the Second Duke of Newcastle, gilt stamped in central panel on covers, joints repaired, directions to binder on rear pastedown, (c17?) autograph of Thomas Wright in red chalk on fore margin of t1, autograph of Edward Filmer (1717) at head of fly and address to reader, and of Viscount Mersey (1938) on fly. In folding box.

A handsome and important copy of the second folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays in the first variant issue and the second authoritative version of the Shakespearian canon. Published 16 years after the authors death, it differs very significantly from the quartos, and is largely reproduced from the first volume (1623). It is from this version of the text that all modern versions derive. Were one asked to nominate the two most important works in the English language, culturally, historically, and linguistically, the Shakespeare folio and the King James Bible would be the obvious choices. As Printing and the Mind of Man 122 (on the first folio) puts it, “the magic of Shakespeare’s poetry is potent only in his own tongue; but the great theatrical scenes, the great dramatic figures are universal. Hamlet’s doubts, the doomed love of Romeo and Juliet, Brutus’ dilemma, the Falstafian image, the characters of Jago, Petruchio, and Lady Macbeth are part of the fabric of western (and not only western) civilisation….they are more real to us than the history books.”

This edition is also notable as containing the first appearance in print of any work of John Milton’s, his prophetic 16-line epitaph on the author that his great lasting monument is “not a starre-y pointing pyramid” but his “unvalued book.”

A very nice association copy. Filmer was a playwright and author, whose tragedy “The Unnatural Brother” was first performed at the theatre in Little Lincoln’s Inn Fields, a place well-known to Shakespeare, whom Filmer much admired. When Collier attacked the English stage (including Shakespeare) in print, Filmer defended both in a sensible and well-written treatise entitled “The Defence of Plays or the Stage Vindicated” (1707) to which Collier was compelled to reply. It was one of the first significant literary controversies immortalised in print.

Henry Clinton, Second Duke of Newcastle (1720 – 1744), was one of the great Whig magnates of his day. Though he played no direct part in politics, his huge influence in so many parliamentary constituencies meant his political support could not be ignored. For his cousin, Sir Henry Clinton, he procured the ill-fated command of the British forces in North America during the Revolution. At Clumber in Nottinghamshire he created one of the most beautiful parks in England. The house there was demolished in 1938, and the present volume sold from the splendid library the previous year along with a great Audubon “America,” and the Lamoignan Hours. Viscount Mersey formed a remarkable collection of important early books during the mid c. 20. Every volume was chosen with care, and he recognised the importance of original condition with appropriate binding long before that became common.

STC 22274 a. Pforzheimer III906. PMM 122 (1st). Greg III pp. 1113-1116. Todd volume V (1952) pp. 81-108.


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