16th & 17th c. English Literature

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“A collection of the flowers of antiquities and histories” for the Elizabethan Reader

Allott, Robert (active 1600); Bodenham, John (active 1600)
Wits Theater of The Little World

London: Iames Roberts for Nicholas Ling, 1599

$18,000.00

Octavo: 12.4 x 7.8 cm. [iv], 269, [7] lvs. Collation: A4, B-2M8, 2N4

“Wits Theater” was produced as part of a publishing project conceived by John Bodenham. The “series” began with Nicholas Ling’s “Politeuphuia: Wits Commonwealth” in 1597, and also included the poetic miscellany “Englands Parnassus” of 1600.

“Wits Theater”

Like the later “Englands Parnassus”, “Wits Theater” was compiled by Robert Allott and may be regarded as the prose equivalent of the poetical “Parnassus”.

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STC 382; ESTC S100300; Grolier, Langland to Wither 15; Pforzheimer 1094; Hoe catalog I: 59

Printed on the English Secret Press at Birchley Hall, Lancashire

Anderton, James [pseud. John Brereley] (1557-1613)
The lyturgie of the Masse: wherein are treated three principal pointes of faith. 1. That in the Sacrament of the Eucharist are truly and really contained the body and bloud of Christ. 2. That the Masse is a true and proper sacrifice of the body and bloud of Christ, offered to God by preistes. 3. That Communion of the Eucharist to the laity vnder one kind is lawful. The ceremonies also of the Masse now vsed in the Catholicke Church, are al of them deriued from the primitiue Church. By Iohn Brereley preis [sic].

"Printed at Colen": [i.e. Birchley Hall Press, Lancashire: Roger Anderton?], 1620

$4,800.00

Quarto: [6], 9-463, 462-468 Collation: [par.]⁴(-[par.]3) A-V⁴ W⁴ X-2V⁴ 2W⁴ 2X-3K⁴ [3L]² (Complete with blank leaves G1 and [3L]².)

A good, complete specimen of a book printed on a secret Catholic press. The press was located at the Anderton family’s own Birchley Hall in Lancashire and was likely operated by James Anderton’s brother, Roger Anderton, after the former’s death. The press produced books, including three by James Anderton himself, from 1613 to 1621, when the press was seized by the English authorities.

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Allison & Rogers, Catholic Books, #137; Allison & Rogers, Counter-Reformation, #22; Milward, Religious Controversies, no. 676; STC 3607

Two of the most important literary works of the English Renaissance, Together with Ascham’s Essay on Historiography - With Manuscript waste from a 15th c. Breviary with several lines in Middle English

Ascham, Roger (1514/15-1568)
The Scholemaster or plaine and perfite way of teaching children, to vnderstand, write, and speake, the Latin tong, but specially purposed for the priuate bringing vp of youth in Ientlemen and Noble mens houses b/w Toxophilus, the schole, or partitions of shooting b/w A Report and Discourse written by Roger Ascham of the affaires and state of Germany and the Emperour Charles his court, duryng certaine yeares while the said Roger was there.

London: Printed by Iohn Daye, dwelling ouer Aldersgate, [1571], London: In Fletestreate neare to Saint Dunstones Churche by Thomas Marshe, 1571, London, Printed by Iohn Daye, dwelling ouer Aldersgate, ca. 1570

$45,000.00

Quarto: Three volumes bound as one: 19.5 x 14.2 cm. I. [manicule]2, B-T4. II. *4, A-H8, III. A-I4

I. “The Schoolmaster”:

“The indispensable link between the earlier Tudor writers and the great Elizabethan and Jacobean writers of English prose”(Ryan, 292)

The Cambridge-educated Ascham, one of the best known of the English humanists, produced two works that had a great influence on the use of English as a literary language as well as on the education of children and the conduct of English gentlemen.

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ISTC S100261, S100277, S100282; STC 834, 838, 830

The City of God

Augustine, Saint, of Hippo (354-430 AD); Vives, Juan Luis (1492-1540); Healy, John [translator] (d. 1610)
Saint Augustine, Of the citie of God : with the learned comments of Io. Lodouicus Viues. Englished first by J. H. and now in this second edition compared with the Latine originall, and in very many places corrected and amended.

London: Printed by G. Eld and M. Flesher, 1620

$8,500.00

Folio: 32.3 x 21.5 cm. ¶4, A-Z6, Aa-Zz6, Aaa-Zzz6, Aaaa-Dddd6 (lacks blank ¶1).

This second edition was revised by William Crashaw (1572-1626), father of the poet Richard Crashaw, and includes the commentary of Juan Luis Vives (first published in Basle, 1522), which Vives wrote at the suggestion of Erasmus.

"Fifteen years after Augustine wrote the Confessions, at a time when he was bringing to a close (and invoking government power to do so) his long struggle with the Donatists but before he had worked himself up to action against the Pelagians, the Roman world was shaken by news of a military action in Italy.

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STC 917; Estelrich 119. Pforzheimer 19

One of the First Attempts to Write a “Protestant” History of the English Church

Bale, John (1495-1563)
The first two partes of the Actes, or vnchast examples of the Englysh votaryes, gathered out of their owne legendes and chronycles by Iohan Bale, and dedycated to our most redoubted soueraigne kynge Edward the syxte.

London: [S. Mierdman] for A Vele and [S. Mierdman], for Iohan Bale, 1550 and 1551

$15,000.00

Octavo: 15.4 x 9.5 cm. [4], 79 lvs; cxx, [4] lvs. Collation: I. *4, A-K8 (with blank K8 present); II. A-P8, Q4

This book consists of two volumes, the first (STC 1273) printed by S. Mierdman for A. Vele, the second (STC 1273.5) by Mierdman for John Bale. As bound, the first four leaves of STC 1273.5, consisting of a general title page ("The first two partes of the Actes..") and the dedicatory epistle, precede the whole of STC 1273, which comprises the first book. The bulk of STC 1273.5 (beginning "The Second Part…" and concluding with the errata) is bound last, as intended by the printer.

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ESTC 100594. Comprises STC 1273 and 1273.5; Davies, “A Bibliography of John Bale”, Number 23 (b) and (c).

With Verses by Aphra Behn. A Fantastic, Large-Paper Copy

Behn, Aphra (1640-89); Aesop (ca. 620-564 B.C.); Barlow, Francis (1626?-1702)
Aesop’s fables with his life: in English, French and Latin. Newly translated. Illustrated with one hundred and twelve sculptures. To this edition are likewise added, thirty one new figures representing his life. By Francis Barlow.

London: Printed by H. Hills jun. for Francis Barlow, and are to be sold by Chr. Wilkinson at the Black-boy against St. Dunstan’s Church in Fleet-street, Tho. Fox in Westminster-hall, and Henry Faithorne at the Rose in St. Paul’s Church-yard, 1687

$28,000.00

Folio: 36.3 x 22.8 cm. [8], 40; 40; 17, 2-221, [3] p. COLLATION: π1(printed title), a2, B-L2; B-L2, B-Z2, Aa-Zz2, Aaa-Ppp2.

For this second edition of his magnificent production, Barlow commissioned Aphra Behn, then at the height of her popularity as a playwright and poet, to write verses to be engraved on the 110 plates illustrating the fables. In order to substitute Behn’s verses for those of Thomas Philipot (d. 1682), the lower area of the plate needed to be burnished down and the new verses engraved onto the plate in place of the earlier ones.

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Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), A703

The Cornerstone of Prison Literature. The Heber-Britwell copy

Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus (480-525 A.D.); Coleville, George, translator (fl. 1556)
Boetius de Consolationae [sic] Philosophiæ. The boke of Boecius, called the comforte of philosophye, or wysedome, moche necessary for all men to read and know, wherein suche as be in aduersitie, shall fynde muche consolation and comforte, and suche as be in great worldly prosperitie may knowe the vanitie and frailtie therof, and consequently fynde eternall felycytie. And this boke is in maner of a dialoge or communication betwene two persones, the one is Boecius, and the other is Philosophy, whose disputations and argumentes do playnly declare the diuersitie of th lyfe actiue, that consisteth in worldly, temporall, and transitory thynges, ... Translated out of Latin into the Englyshe toungue by George Coluile, alias Coldewel, to thintent that such as be ignoraunt in the Latin tongue, and can rede Englyshe, maye vnderstande the same. And to the mergentes is added the Latin, accordynge to the boke of the translatour, whiche was a very olde prynte

London: In Paules churche yarde at the sygne of the holy Ghost, by Ihon Cawoode, prynter to the Kynge and Quenes Maiesties, 1556

$30,000.00

Quarto: 20 x 14 cm. [A]4, B-Z4, Aa-Ff4 (blank Ff4 lacking)

Dedicated to Queen Mary Tudor, Coleville’s English translation of Boethius’ masterpiece is the only early English translation to include the original Latin text, indicating that, in addition to those readers with no knowledge of Latin, the author took into consideration the more educated, Latin-literate English audience. Coleville provides interesting marginal glosses and explanatory notes, including the tale of the sword of Damocles.

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STC 3201

The English “Ship of Fooles”, Illustrated with 116 Large Woodcuts

Brant, Sebastian (1458-1521); Barclay, Alexander (1475?-1552) and Locher, Jacob (1471-1528), translators
Stultifera Navis… The Ship of Fooles, wherin is shewed the folly of all States, with divers other workes adioyned unto the same, very profitable and fruitfull for all men. Translated out of Latin into Englishe by Alexander Barclay, Priest.

London: in Paules Churchyarde by John Cawood printer to the Queenes Maiestie, 1570

$40,000.00

Folio: 28 x 19 cm. ¶6, ¶¶6, A-Z6, Aa-Uu6, Xx4, A-G6, A-D6. [12], 259, [3]; [42]; [24] leaves

Sebastian Brant's celebrated “Ship of Fooles” ("Narrenschiff"), here in the English translation of Alexander Barclay, printed together with the Latin version of the poem by Jacob Locher. The first edition of Barclay’s translation (1509) is unobtainable. In this second edition there are also additional works by Barclay, “The Mirrour of good Maners” and “Certayne Eglogues", which did not appear in the 1509 edition.

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STC 3546; Pforzheimer 41; Langland to Wither, 18; Wilhelmi, Sébastian Brant (Bibliography) 218; Brant ("500e anniversaire" Exhibition catalogue, Basle 1994), 109

With 23 Woodcuts of the Canterbury Pilgrims

Chaucer, Geoffrey (d. 1400)
The Workes of Geffrey Chaucer, newlie printed, with divers addicions, whiche were never in print before: With the siege and destruccion of the worthy Citee of Thebes, compiled by Jhon Lidgate, Monke of Berie. As in the table more plainly doeth appere.

London: John Kyngston for John Wight, 1561

$68,000.00

Folio: 33 x 22 cm. [14], ccclxxviij leaves. Collation: [fleuron]⁴ [Maltese cross]⁶ A⁴, B-V⁶, 2A-2P⁶, ²Q-T⁶, ²V-X⁸, ²Y-Z⁶, 3A-3T⁶, 3V⁸. Leaves 03/4 reversed. Complete.

There were two series of woodcut illustrations used in 15thand 16thc. editions of the "Canterbury Tales": one by William Caxton, used in his 1483 edition, in 1498 by Wynkyn de Worde, and the 1532 and 1542 editions of the "Works". The second set, modeled on Caxton's, was made for Richard Pynson's 1492 edition of the "Tales". For the second Pynson edition (1526), some of the original 1492 blocks were used while others were re-cut on new blocks.

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Pforzheimer 176; ESTC S107206 (STC 5075); Langland to Wither, 42; Literature: E.P. Hammond, Chaucer, p. 119-122; David Carlson, "Woodcut Illustrations of the Canterbury Tales, 1483-1602", The Library, Vol. s6-19, Issue 1 (1 March, 1997), pages 25-67; David Carlson, "Woodcut Illustrations in Early Printed Editions of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales", in Chaucer Illustrated: Five Hundred Years of The Canterbury Tales in Pictures; Joe Dane, "Press-Variants in John Stow's Chaucer (1561) and the Text of Adam Scriveyn" (with Seth Lerer). Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 11 (1999): 468-79.

Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote…

Chaucer, Geoffrey (d. 1400)
The Works of our ancient, learned, [and] excellent English poet, Jeffrey Chaucer: as they have lately been compar’d with the best manuscripts; and several things added, never before in print. To which is adjoyn’d, The story of the siege of Thebes, by John Lidgate, monk of Bury. Together with the life of Chaucer, shewing his countrey, parentage, education, marriage, children, revenues, service, reward, friends, books, death. Also a table, wherein the old and obscure words in Chaucer are explained, and such words (which are many) that either are, by nature or derivation, Arabick, Greek, Latine, Italian, French, Dutch, or Saxon, mark’d with particular notes for the better understanding their original

London: [s.n.], 1687

$8,500.00

Folio: 31.5 x 20.3 cm. [36], 660, [24] pp. Collation: pi2, A4, a-c4, B-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Zzz4, Aaaa-Rrrr4, Ssss2

The contents are: “The Canterbury Tales”, together with the “Prologues”; “The Romaunt of the Rose”; “Troilus and Criseyde”; “The Legend of Good Women”; Chaucer’s translation of Boethius’ “Consolation of Philosophy”; “The Dreame of Chaucer”; “The Assemblie of Foules”; The Flower of Courtesie”; “How Pitie is Dead”; “La Belle Dame sans Mercie”; “Annelida and false Arcite”; “The Assembly of Ladies”; The Conclusion of the Astrolaby”; “The Complaint of the Black Knight”; “A Prayse of Women”; The House of Fame”; “The Testament of Love”; “Jake Upland”; John Lydgate’s “Siege of Thebes” and a number of other minor works.

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Pforzheimer, 179; Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), C3736

The Scandalous Life of Elizabeth Chudleigh

Chudleigh, Elizabeth (c. 1720-1788)
An Authentic Detail of Particulars relative to the Late Duchess of Kingston.

London: Printed for G. Kearsley, at Johnson’s Head, No. 46, Fleet-Street, 1788

$3,800.00

Octavo: 21 x 13 cm. pp. [ii], ii, 178, [18]. Collation: [A]2, B-Z4, A1. With an added engraved frontispiece of the Duchess, with breasts exposed "as she appeared at the Venetian Ambassador

Duchess of Kingston, granddaughter of the poet Mary Chudleigh (1656-1710), from whom “she seemed to have inherited no notable literary tastes or talents”(Rizzo) Elizabeth was notorious for her sexual escapades, daring, and profligacy. She studiously cultivated this image, referring to herself (in the third person) thus: “She was both wasteful and penurious; the most enormous sums were expended to gratify her love of display, at the same time that she refused to incur some trifling necessary expense in her household….

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ESTC T92902

The First Edition. A Fine Copy in a Contemporary Binding

Chudleigh, Mary Lee, Lady (bap. 1656- d. 1710)
Poems on several occasions. Together with The song of the three children paraphras’d. By the Lady Chudleigh

London: printed by W[illiam]. B[owyer]. for Bernard Lintott at the Middle Temple Gate in Fleetstreet, 1703

$15,000.00

Octavo: 19.5 x 12 cm. [16], 125, [17], 73, [1] pp. Collation: A-O8, P4

Mary Chudleigh was a friend of Elizabeth Thomas and an admirer of Mary Astell, with whom she corresponded and whose ‘Defence of the Female Sex’ she tried to emulate. Dedicated to Queen Anne, her ‘Poems on Several Occasions’ was widely noticed, achieving a second edition in 1709. The poems include a wide range of subjects, from lyrics and satires of the age of Dryden, to philosophical and more contemplative verse in keeping with the solitary and often melancholy life that she led in Devon.

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Foxon p. 121; ESTC t97275; Maslen and Lancaster, Bowyer ledgers, D36

The Protestant Martyrs. With the Ballad of John Careless, Later adapted by Shakespeare in King Lear

Coverdale, Miles (1488-1568)
Certain most godly, fruitful, and comfortable letters of such true saintes and holy martyrs of God, as in the late bloodye persecution here within this realme, gaue their lyues for the defence of Christes holy gospel: written in the tyme of theyr affliction and cruell imprysonment.

London: By Iohn Day, dwelling ouer Aldersgate, beneath Saint Martines, 1564

$16,000.00

Quarto: 18 x 13.5 cm. [8], 46, 49-689, [5] p. Collation: A4, B-C8, D8(-D8), E-I8, K8(-K6), L-Y8 2A-2X8, 2Y8 + [hand]Y4 (Leaves D8 and K6 are canceled, as intended.)

An important collection of writings by English Protestants, many of whom had been martyred, compiled and with a preface by Miles Coverdale. There are letters by Lady Jane Gray (1536/7-1554) (a letter written “to her syster the Ladye Katheryne, immediately before she suffered”), John Bradford (1510?-1555) (including a partial reprint of \"An exhortacion to the carienge of Chrystes crosse\", STC 3480.

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STC 5886

Crashaw’s English Poems

Crashaw, Richard (1612-1649)
Steps to the Temple, The Delights of the Muses and Carmen Deo Nostro. By Ric. Crashaw, sometimes Fellow of Pembroke Hall, and late fellow of St Peters Colledge in Cambridge. The 2nd Edition.

London: In the Savoy, Printed by T.N. for Henry Herringman at the Blew Anchor in the Lower Walk of the New Exchange. 1670

$7,500.00

Octavo: [16], 112, 115-208, [2] p., [1] leaf of plates. Collation: A-O8 (O8 blank and present.) With an added, engraved frontispiece of the temple.

Along with Donne, Herbert and Marvell, Crashaw was one of the most important of the Metaphysical poets. "Compared with one another, Crashaw represents more of Donne's ecstasy, and Herbert more of his reason" (George Williamson). The son of a Puritan clergyman who eventually converted to Catholicism, Crashaw is best known for the intensity of his religious poetry.

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Wing C 6838; Grollier, Wither to Prior # 234

"Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls."

Donne, John (1573-1631)
Letters to Severall Persons of Honour: Written by John Donne, Sometime Deane of St Pauls London. Published by John Donne Dr. of the Civill Law.

London: Printed by J. Flesher, for Richard Marriot, and are to be sold at his shop in St Dunstans Church-yard under the Dyall. 1651

$12,000.00

Quarto: 17.5 x 13 cm. [5] (title page plus dedicatory epistle), 318 pp. Collation: A4 (-blank leaf A1) B-Z4, Aa-Ss4 (with blank leaf Ss4 present). With the added engraved portrait.

Provenance: This copy was once the property of the author and essayist Sir Thomas Pope Blount (1649-1697) and bears his familiar ms. note “Tittenhanger library” on the free endpaper. Blount inherited the Tittenhanger estate in Hertfordshire in 1678. In his “Essays on Several Subjects” (1692), Blount wrote: “If learning happens to be in the possession of a Fool, ‘tis then but a Bawble, and like Dr.

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Pforzheimer, 295; Wing D1864; Keynes 55

With the Engraved Portrait of Donne

Donne, John (1573-1631)
Poems, by J.D. VVith elegies on the authors death

London: Printed by M[iles]. F[lesher]. for John Marriot, and are to be sold at his shop in St Dunstans Church-yard in Fleet-street, 1639

$16,500.00

Octavo: 13.5 x 9.1 cm. [8], 300, [4], 301-388, [32] pp. A-Z8, Aa-Dd8. With the engraved frontispiece portrait.

“The poetry of Donne represents a sharp break with that written by his predecessors and most of his contemporaries. Much Elizabethan verse is decorative and flowery in its quality. Its images adorn; its meter is mellifluous. Image harmonizes with image, and line swells almost predictably into line. Donne’s poetry, on the other hand, is written very largely in conceits— concentrated images that involve an element of dramatic contrast, of strain, or of intellectual difficulty.

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STC 7047; Keynes 80; Pforzheimer 297

“No man is an Island”

Donne, John (1573-1631)
Devotions vpon emergent occasions, and seuerall steps in my sicknes: digested into 1. Meditations vpon our humane condition. 2. Expostulations, and debatements with God. 3. Prayers, vpon the seuerall occasions, to him. By Iohn Donne, Deane of S. Pauls, London. The third edition.

London: Printed [by Augustine Mathewes] for Thomas Iones, and are to be sold at the signe of the Black Rauen in the Strand, 1627

$20,000.00

Duodecimo: 13.8 x 8.4 cm. [8], 589, [1] p. A-Z12 (lacks blank A1); Aa-Bb12

“[The ‘Devotions’] present a more vivid and intimate picture of Donne than anything else written by himself or others.” –Sparrow

“Donne’s ‘Devotions’ is the source of the author’s famous meditation on the interconnectedness of all human lives: ‘No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.

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Keynes, G. Donne (4th ed.), 38; STC 7035a; ESTC S114971; Grolier/Donne 20 (this copy)

A fine Copy with the Portrait of Donne

Donne, John (1573-1631)
Poems, by J.D. With elegies on the authors death. To which is added divers copies under his own hand never before in print.

London: Printed for John Marriot, and are to be sold by Richard Marriot at his shop by Chancery lane end over against the Inner Temple gate, 1650

$9,000.00

Octavo: 14.2 x 9 cm. [8], 392, [32] p. A4, B-Z8, Aa8, (aa)8, (bb)4, Bb-Cc8. Lacking blank A1. With an added portrait frontispiece.

“The poetry of Donne represents a sharp break with that written by his predecessors and most of his contemporaries. Much Elizabethan verse is decorative and flowery in its quality. Its images adorn; its meter is mellifluous. Image harmonizes with image, and line swells almost predictably into line. Donne’s poetry, on the other hand, is written very largely in conceits— concentrated images that involve an element of dramatic contrast, of strain, or of intellectual difficulty.

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Wing D1869; ESTC R32767; Grolier/Donne 86 (this copy); Grolier/Wither to Prior 290; Keynes, Donne 82

First Edition of Queen Elizabeth’s Visitation Articles

ELIZABETH I, Queen of England (1533-1603)
Articles to be enquyred in the visitation, in the fyrst yeare of the raygne of our moost drad soueraygne Lady, Elizabeth by the grace of God, of Englande Fraunce, and Irelande, Quene, defender of the fayth. &c. Anno 1559

London: Imprinted… in Povles Churcheyarde by Richard Iugge and Iohn Cavvood, Printers to the Quenes Maiestie, 1559

$22,000.00

Quarto: 18 x 13 cm. [14] pp. Collation: A-B4 (lacking blank leaf B4)

With the signature of the 16th c. book collector Humphrey Dyson (1582-1633) at the foot of the title page. The bookplate of Albert Ehrman, with his motto “Pro Viribus Summis Contendo” is affixed to the front pastedown. This was lot 270 in the 1978 sale of Ehrman’s library. Very rare. ESTC locates 4 copies in the U.S.: Folger, Huntington, Harvard, Yale.

First edition of the first visitation articles established for the reformed church after Elizabeth’s accession.

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STC 10118

England's Descent into Tyranny

Elyot, Thomas, Sir (1490?-1546)
The image of gouernaunce compiled of the actes and sentences notable, of the most noble emperour Alexandre Seuerus, late translated out of Greke into Englishe, by sir Thomas Elyote knyght, in the fauour of nobilitee

London: Imprinted in the house of Thomas Berthelette, 1549

$16,000.00

Octavo: 14 x 9.5 cm. [11], 167 [i.e. 174], [3] lvs. A-Z8, Aa4

The amusing, manuscript poem on the final leaf reads:

This booke is I knowe not wose [whose]

wherefore he may go wipe

his nose yffe he haue the pose

"The last of Elyot’s great works, 'The Image of Governance', a life of the Roman Emperor Alexander Severus, is far from being a straightforward life of an ideal emperor. The 'Image' is actually a complex, bitter, and at times savagely satirical rumination on princely power and its perversions, probably prompted at least in part by the fall of Elyot’s patron and friend Thomas Cromwell.

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ESTC S111496; STC (2nd ed.), 7666