Historia anglicana ecclesiastica.

Douai, M. Wyon, 1622.


Folio, 3 works in one, half-title to second, pp. (xxiv) 1-660, 661-740, 741-743 746-779 [i.e., 775] (i). Roman letter, little Italic, t-p in red and black. Engraved vignette to t-p, decorated initials and ornaments. Variable browning (poor quality paper), t-p spotted, lower outer blank corner of A4 repaired, very minor spotting, occasional light waterstaining to upper margins, minor worming to lower blank margin of final gatherings. A perfectly acceptable copy in contemporary vellum, yapp edges, title inked to spine, inscription c.1800 ‘questa opera è di un Cattolico Romano’ to fly.

Second edition of this major work of English Reformation history, including the first printed account of Henry VIII’s divorce. Nicholas Harpsfield (1519-75) was a Catholic priest, theologian and historian who, after reading canon law at Oxford, became friends with Thomas More and during his brief exile to escape the increasingly rigid reformism, composed the account of Thomas’s martyrdom. Upon Queen Mary’s accession, he was appointed Archdeacon of Canterbury and involved in trials of hardened Protestants, being singled out for his ruthlessness in John Foxe’s ‘Book of Martyrs’. During his later years, imprisoned in the Tower of London, he penned an attack on the validity of Henry VIII’s divorce, one against the ‘Wycliffite heresy’, and the ‘Historia anglicana ecclesiastica’, a posthumously published history of all English dioceses from the first century AD, according to the great tradition of Bede and William of Malmesbury. The editor of this edition, Richard Gibbon S.J., included an addition by the Jesuit Edmund Campion, the account of Henry VIII’s divorce and the schism—its first appearance in print. Widely circulated in ms. for half a century prior to its publication, the ‘Historia’ became a major reference point for exiled English Catholics, who saw in ecclesiastical historiography a solid battleground for debate on the schismatic church. The eminent Jesuit William Allen left a ms. copy to the English Collegium at Douai, which was taken to Rome, whilst the learned Robert Parsons S.J. ranked it as important as Bede (Kewes, ‘Uses’, 110; Birkhead, ‘Newsletters’, 233). A monument of the English Counter-Reformation.

The C18 Italian owner of this copy felt the need to clarify on the flyleaf that ‘this book was written by a Roman Catholic’.

BM STC Fr. 1601-1700, 147; Rep. Bib. XVII IV (Douai), 1132. G. Birkenhead, Newsletters from the Archpresbyterate (Cambridge, 1998); F. Heal, ‘Catholic and Protestant Polemics’, in The Uses of History in Early Modern England, ed. P. Kewes (San Marino, CA, 2006).


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SCHÄUFELEIN, Hans Leonhard


Doctrina, vita et passio Iesu Christi.

Frankfurt, C. Egenolph, [1537].


FIRST EDITION. 8vo. 40 unnumbered ff., A-K4. Roman or large Gothic letter. 74 outstanding full-page woodcuts with scenes from the life of Christ and the Apostles. Slight browning, first and last three ll. reinforced at gutter, occasional repair to few blank margins, tiny marginal worm trail at foot of first few ll. A good copy in contemporary limp vellum, recased, traces of ties, title inked to spine, little worming, C17 annotations to lower blank margin of couple of ll.

Fresh copy, in fine impression, of the first edition of this outstanding series of woodcuts on the life and passion of Christ. Hans Schäufelein (c.1435-c.1539) was active at Dürer’s Nuremberg workshop in 1503-4 and at Hans Holbein the Elder’s in Augsburg before 1515. After settling in Nördlingen, he collaborated with major German artists like Altdorfer on woodcuts designed for the Emperor Maximilian I (‘German Engravings’, XLII, 83). His outstanding woodcut production embraced subjects as varied as city views, costumes, military scenes, illustrated ballads, festivals, gaming cards and, most of all, sacred stories. ‘Doctrina’ is a masterful witness to Reformation ‘emotional religiosity’ and new Protestant northern European devotional practice by which pious men and women were encouraged ‘to approach the Divine through intimate knowledge and emphatic experience of Christ’s humanity’ (‘Passion Iconography’, 1, 3). The cycle begins from the Annunciation and proceeds through the key events of his life to the various phases of the Passion, ending with the Pentecost; the second part depicts important scenes involving Christ and the Apostles. That this work sought to cater to a broad readership is shown by the captions, both in Latin and the vernacular. The C17 annotator of this copy was especially interested in scenes of the Passion—the Last Supper, the Washing of the Feet, the Flagellation, the Carrying of the Cross and the Crucifixion—which he glossed with captions taken from Jacques Callot’s series of prints ‘La Grande Passion’ (c.1618). The Catholic Callot’s captions thus accompany a Protestant representation of the Passion. E.g., whilst Schäufelein’s Christ is angrily pointing at the traitor Judas in the Protestant fashion, with no chalice and a simple plate of food in front of him, the caption marks a comment on Callot’s Catholic communion of the Apostles and Christ’s blessing of the food, so that his body may become ‘cibus’—one of the very issues of discord between the two religious ideologies (Schiller, ‘Iconography’, II, 38-41). A handsome artistic monument, in fresh impression, to popular Reformation devotion, with fascinating annotation.

Brunet II, 780; Fairfax Murray 393. Not in BM STC Ger. Hollstein’s German Engravings (Rotterdam, 1996-97), vol. XLII; J.H. Marrow, Passion Iconography in Northern European Art (Kortrijk, 1979); G. Schiller, The Iconography of Christian Art (London, 1972), II.


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FOXE, John


Acts and monuments of matters most speciall and memorable, happening in the Church,  with an vniuersall historie of the same. .. Whereunto are annexed certaine additions of like persecutions, which haue happened in these later times.

London, Adam Islip, Fœlix Kingston, and Robert Young, anno Domini, 1632.


Folio. Three vols. pp. [cxxviii], 756, 767-1034; 113, 112-788, [ii]; [iv], 584, 595-1030; [xiv], 106, 105-106, [cxiv]. [3] plates (2 folded). pi⁴, 2[par.]⁸, 3[par.]⁸, (-)⁶, (A)-(H)⁴, (I)⁶, A-4P⁶, 4Q⁸; ²A-I⁶, K⁸, L-3T⁶, 3V⁴; ³A-4P⁶, 4Q⁸; ⁴A-O⁴, P⁶, 4R-5G⁴. {without first blank in vol 1, last blank in vol 2, and first and last blanks in vol. 3] Black letter, some Roman and Italic, double column. Title pages to each vol. within fine woodcut border, representing the Last Judgement, the burning of martyrs, the celebration of the Mass, and Protestant and Roman preaching (McKerrow & Ferguson. Title-page borders, no. 120.), three folding woodcut plates, after 2E4, ²2Z6, and ³2V1, with a monumental broadside “A table of the X first persecutions of the primitive Church under the heathen Tyrannes of Rome, continuing the space almost of CCC yeeres after Christ” bound after page 44 in vol. 1, many column width and half page woodcuts in text, woodcut initials head and tail-pieces. Light age yellowing with some offsetting, spotting and browning in places, minor light occasional waterstains, occasional small tears to lower margins, 3B6 in volume 2 with closed tear through lower third of leaf, broadside with several closed tears at folds, endpapers renewed in vol. 3. A very good copy in handsome contemporary calf, covers single gilt and double blind ruled to a panel design, fleurons gilt to corners of outer panel, large lozenge with olive wreath and scrolls gilt stamped at centres, spines with raised bands, gilt ruled in compartments, large fleuron gilt at centres, titles gilt on morocco labels, wide brass clasps and catches, stamped and engraved, small loss to head of vol 2, volume 3 rebacked with original spine laid down, upper compartment lacking, a little rubbed at extremities, covers a little scratched. Early shelf mark and monogram B:E to upper margin of t-p in vol. 3

A very handsome copy of this enlarged and beautifully illustrated copy of Foxe’s monumental and hugely influential work containing a very large and exceptionally rare broadside not mentioned in ESTC or Copac. It was most probably made for this edition, as it contains instructions as to where it should be placed in the text, (after page 44) which are not found on the previous version made for the 1622 edition. This broadside on the martyrdom of the early Christians, is printed from three woodblocks, each filled with separate incidents of persecution, each described by text in a cartouche; with letterpress title along the top and description below. It was first published for the 1570 edition of Foxe’s ‘Book of Martyrs, and was also published separately. See Sheila O’Connell, ‘The Popular Print in England’, BM 1999, no.4.24, and D. Loades, ‘John Foxe and the English Reformation.’ We can find no mention of it in another copy. 

The Actes and Monuments, popularly known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, is a work of  Protestant history and martyrology including a polemical account of the sufferings of Protestants under the Catholic Church, with particular emphasis on England and Scotland. This text, and their scholarly interpretations, helped to frame English consciousness (national, religious and historical), for over four hundred years. Evoking images of the sixteenth-century martyred English, of Elizabeth enthroned, the Enemy overthrown, and danger averted, Foxe’s text and its images served as a popular and academic code. The book was highly influential and helped shape lasting popular notions of Catholicism. It went through four editions in Foxe’s lifetime. The three volumes here amount to 2,300 pages of over 3 million words and very numerous woodcuts. This 1632 edition adds a chronology and a topical outline as well as a continuation of foreign martyrs.

“Even today ..the Acts and Monuments … is an impressive tome, vastly more ambitious than anything previously printed in England. John Foxe’s text – itself drawing on the work of many other writers – not only tells the stories of the men and women persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church, but prints vast amounts of documentary support in the form of letters, interrogations, and debates, .. It is also ,… the single most important body of biographical life-writing in post Reformation Britain. Although initially conceived as a new ecclesiastical history for the English Protestant Church, and as a repository for the documentary evidence for that history, Acts and Monuments became most celebrated as a collection of martyr’s lives, a Book of Martyrs, as it became popularly known.” The Oxford history of Life-Writing.

John Foxe began his great work while a refugee in Rhineland Europe and away from Queen Mary’s persecution back in England. Its intellectual genesis therefore lay at the heart of the revolutionary changes inspired by the sixteenth-century protestant reformation – which is to say, on the continent of Europe. Yet, successively reworked and republished in English.., the cultural impact of Foxe’s work was to sever England from the catholic roots of continental Europe. After his death, Foxe’s work became a vehicle that sustained anti-catholic sentiment which, in turn, cloistered a fundamental suspicion of continental Europe -.. Foxe’s  Book of Martyrs had played an important part in creating a sense of English national identity.” Mark Greengrass, Thomas S. Freeman ‘The Acts and Monuments and the Protestant Continental Martyrologies.’

A very handsome copy, rare complete and in a contemporary binding, with the exceptional, large broadside.

ESTC S123057. STC 11228. Lowndes II 829. 


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Historie di quattro principali citta del mondo, Gerusalemme, Roma, Napoli e Venetia…. Aggiuntoui vn compendio dell’istorie dell’Indie

Venice, appresso Giorgio Greco, 1603.


4to. pp. (xvi), 449 (i.e.439) (i).Italic letter. Woodcut printer’s device on title, floriated woodcut initials woodcut and typographical headpieces, small woodcut astrological diagrams with several astrological tables, early monogram G.N.P. in blank margin of title price? 3.10 below. Light age yellowing, some very light browning in places, tiny tear in outer blank margin of title. A very good, clean copy in contemporary vellum over boards, all edges speckled red.

Excellent edition of Zappullo’s description of the four principal cities of the world appended with a long and important description of the New World. “The first edition of a turn of the century, Counter-Reformation history of the three principal cities in the world – Jerusalem Rome and Naples, published in Naples in 1598 by Michele Zappullo, brings together Naples classical inheritance and the common view of successive epochs. Zappullo recounts world history as a succession of ages in the light of God’s intervention into human affairs. According to Zappullo, whereas Jerusalem was sacred to the Jews, .. Rome was the seat of the gentile …. Naples on the other hand proved to be the first city of Europe converted to Christianity and the refuge of Christianity during the persecution of the primitive church, and since then has remained steadfast in its ancient faith. … And with the passing of 1600 without an end to the world, Zappullo’s subsequent editions were able to expand his argument to the spread of Christianity to the Venetians and to the people of the New World.” John A. Marino ‘Becoming Neapolitan: Citizen Culture in Baroque Naples’. Zappullo added the city of Venice and his description of the Indies to the second and subsequent editions; Venice due to its long history not subject to its enemies and the Indies as the hope and fulfillment of the spread of God’s word to all of mankind. The substantial account of the New World, pages 341-422, deal primarily with Central and South America, but also mentions Canada, Labrador, and the St. Lawrence River, and even Japan and India. There is a chapter on astronomy at the end. “Michele Zappullo, mourned the long reign of the Devil in the New World, with the consequent loss of millions of souls. Zappullo charged the Indians, both men and women, with being cruel, bestial, treacherous, senseless, ignorant, inconstant and thievish; ..He offered graphic depictions of the various Aztec modes of human sacrifice, but did not indicate that these practices were limited to Mexico. Zappullo claimed that sodomy was so common among the Indians that men married other men, with the one who played the part of wife performing all the tasks usually assigned to women. In close imitation of Gomara, Zapullo scornfully depicted the poverty of Indian life. The Indians lacked all things necessary for human comfort, such as wheat, wine and the olive: mills, beasts of burden and iron. They had no weights, measures or numbers; no music or letters; indeed, none of the liberal arts.” Benjamin Keen ‘The Aztec Image in Western Thought’. A very good copy of this most interesting work.

BM STC It. C17th. p. 976. Alden 603/122. Sabin 106254. JFB Z3. Houzeau and Lancaster 12748. (1609 edn. only)


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