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

A Miniature London Almanac in a Silver Filigree Binding

ALMANACS. MINIATURES. BINDINGS.
London almanack for the year of Christ 1782

London: printed for the Company of Stationers, 1782

$6,500.00

5.8 x 3.8 cm. 24 one-sided engraved lvs.

The text is engraved throughout and four of the leaves form a composite view of the London Pantheon in Oxford Street, an early project of the architect James Wyatt (d. 1813). Its main rotunda was one of the largest rooms built in London up to that time.  The venue hosted assemblies, masquerade balls, and concerts.

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ESTC T127694. For similar London Almanack bindings see See Bondy, Miniature Books, pp. 39-41.

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 Sole Edition of Brathwait’s Satire on the Vices of Women

Brathwait, Richard (1588?-1673)
Ar’t asleepe husband? A boulster lecture; stored with all variety of witty jeasts, merry tales, and other pleasant passages; extracted, from the choicest flowers of philosophy, poesy, antient and moderne history. Illustrated with examples of incomparable constancy, in the excellent history of Philocles and Doriclea. By Philogenes Panedonius

London: Printed by R. Bishop, for R[ichard]. B[est]. or his assignes, 1640

$9,600.00

17 x 11 cm. [48], 318, [8] p., [1] leaf of plates Collation: [A]1, a-c⁸, B-X⁸ (with blank X8), Y⁴

This copy conforms with Pforzheimer and lacks the bifolium “Postscript” (Z1-2) “Apparently supplementary and frequently wanting”(Grolier). It is found only in the Huntington and Harmsworth (Folger) copies in the U.S. Quire Y contains the poems "Menippus his Madrigall, to his coy-duck Clarabel” and “Loves Festivall at Lusts Funerall”.

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STC 3555; Pforzheimer, 76; Grolier, Wither to Prior 86

Bunyan’s Evolving Doctrine of Justification & An Attack on the Church of England - The First Edition - Complete With the Engraved frontispiece

Bunyan, John (1628-1688)
A discourse upon the Pharisee and the publicane. Wherein several great and weighty things are handled: as the nature of prayer, and of obedience to the law, with how far it obliges Christians, and wherein it consists: wherein is also shewed the equally deplorable condition of the Pharisee, or hypocritical and self-righteous man, and of the publicane, or sinner that lives in sin, and in open violation of the divine laws: together with the way and method of God’s free-grace in pardoning penetent sinners; proving that he justifies them by imputing Christs righteousness to them. Written by John Bunian, author of the Pilgrims progress

London: Printed for Jo. Harris, at the Harrow, over against the Church in the Poultry, 1685

$15,500.00

Duodecimo: 14 x 8 cm. [8], 202 p. A4, B-I12, K7 (with the first blank. Lacking final blank).

Printed one year after the appearance of the second part of “The Pilgrim’s Progress” and in the same year that the Bedford magistrates ordered penal laws against nonconformists to be enforced, Bunyan’s “Discourse upon the Pharisee and the Publicane” is a fiery critique of the tyranny of the Church of England and of those among his readers who, like the residents of Vanity Fair and the Pharisee in the parable, prided themselves on superficial religiosity.

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ESTC R3995; Wing (2nd ed., 1994), B5512A; Harrison 34

Comets, Conjoined Twins, The Invention of Printing & the Martyrdom of Anne Askew. The Boxbourne Library Copy

Carion, Johannes (1499-1537/8); Melanchthon, Philip (1497-1560); Lynne, Walter (d. 1571)
The thre bokes of cronicles, whyche Iohn Carion (a man syngularly well sene in the mathematycall sciences) gathered wyth great diligence of the beste authours that haue written in Hebrue, Greke or Latine. Whervnto is added an appendix, conteynyng all such notable thynges as be mentyoned in cronicles to haue chaunced in sundry partes of the worlde from the yeare of Christ. 1532. to thys present yeare of. 1550. Gathered by Iohn Funcke of Nurenborough. Whyche was neuer afore prynted in Englysh. Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum. [“caused to be translated by Gwalter Lynne.”]

London: [by S. Mierdman] for Gwalter Lynne, dwellynge on Somers Keye, by Byllinges gate. And they are to be solde in Paules church yarde, nexte the great Schole, at the sygne of the sprede Egle, 1550

$10,900.00

Quarto: 19 x 12.7 cm. [8], cclxv, cclxvii-cclxxix, [13] leaves. Collation: *8, A-X8, Z8, Aa-Oo8, Pp4, (lacking blank leaf Nn8)

This is the first edition in English of the work known as “Carion’s Chronicle”, translated by Walter Lynne and dedicated to Edward VI. The work was first conceived of and written by Johann Carion (1499-1537/8), Professor of Mathematics in the University of Frankfurt am Oder, and for a time, court astrologer to Joachim I, Elector of Brandenburg. Carion sent the work to Philip Melanchthon for editing and correction.

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STC 4626

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.

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)

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

"The True Foundation of Modern Entomology" - First Edition of the first Natural History book Written and Printed in England

ENTOMOLOGY. Moffet, Thomas (1553-1604); Penny, Thomas (ca. 1530-1589)
Insectorvm Sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrvm: Olim ab Edoardo Wottono. Conrado Gesnero. Thomaqve Pennio inchoatum: Tandem Tho. Movfeti Londinatis opera sumptibusq; maximis concinnatum, auctum, perfectum: Et ad vivum expressis Iconibus supra quingentis illustratum.

London: ex Officina typographica Thom. Cotes. Et venales extant apud Guiliel. Hope, ad insigne Chirothechae, prope regium Excambium, 1634

$14,000.00

Folio: 30 x 19 cm. A6, a4, B-Z6, Aa-Dd6, Ee4

FIRST EDITION of the "true foundation of modern entomology"(Raven, English Naturalists from Neckham to Ray, 1947).  The ‘Insectorvm Sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrvm' (Theater of Insects, the Smallest of Animals) is the first substantial scientific treatise devoted exclusively to entomology and the first original treatise devoted to natural history composed in England.

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Garrison-Morton 288; Lisney, pp. 4-9; Norman 1528; Raven, English naturalists, ch. 10; STC 17993a; Huntington Catalogue p. 297; Nissen 2852; Horn.-Schenkl. III, 15547; Hagen I, 553