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Barclay his Argenis - Barclay John.; LONG Kingsmill translator - 1625. 
1625 - or, the Loves of Poliarchus and Argenis: Faithfully translated out of Latine into English, by Kingesmill Long, Gent. First Edition in English. Folio. ff, 404 pp; with the first blank leaf. Some minor soiling, slight weakness from the watermark in E1, deep binder's crease across pp. 1-80, short slit in the lower inner margin of H1 and Q2, tiny hole in M1, short vertical tear from a paper flaw from the lower margin of T3, Ee2-4, Qq2, Rr3, Yy4, Bb2-4, Cc2 and Ee6 (usually crossing a few lines without loss), flaw at the foot of Yy1 affecting the bottom two lines (no loss), small rust-hole in V3, but a good copy.Contemporary calf, covers ruled in blind, gilt initials ?TM? on the covers old paper spine label (upper fore-corner damaged, slight worming in the top panel of the spine; two [pairs of fabric ties missing, corner of the rear flyleaf torn-away).London: by G. P[urslowe] for Henry Seile, STC 1392. With the first blank leaf. First published in Latin in Paris soon after the Scottish-bred, French-born, Jesuit-educated, Neo-Latin satirist and poet Barclay's sudden death in Rome in 1621 where this, his last work, was written. A second Latin edition was published in London in 1622. ?It is a romance written in Latin centred on Argenis, an ideal princess, with three suitors, one good, one bad, and one who is finally recognized as her long-lost brother. It is also an allegory of seventeenth-century Europe, and keys for its characters also survive, for example identifying Archombrotus and Poliarchus as figures of Henry IV, Hyanisbe of Elizabeth I, and Radirobanes of Philip II. In contrast to [his earlier work] the Satyricon, however, there is no character that can be identified as a type of Barclay himself. In this political allegory, as noted by Mark Riley and Dorothy Pritchard Huber in in the introduction to their new translation of the Argenis (Leuven, Bibliotheca Latinitatis Novae, 2004) its closest parallel is with Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, a work it also reflects in its mixture of prose and verse, and deliberately alludes to in this English translation in the structure of its title and the choice of its small folio format. ?Like the Satyricon, the Argenis was instantly popular: in London in May 1622, because of demand, the cost of a volume rose from 5s. to 14s. and [King] James commanded Ben Jonson to translate it, although if a translation ever existed, it seems not to have been published. Other translations appeared, in many European vernaculars, and two sequels, by other hands, were also published.? (ODNB). ?The reasons why the Argenis itself was so popular can easily be seen. Barclay's romance, proclaimed by Abraham Cowley as 'the finest ever written', embodied the spirit of the age, containing episodes and situations common in seventeenth-centiry literature, and indeed of romance literature of any age: the love of a chaste and beautiful princess for a young gallant who proves his royal origin by his brilliant exploits; the separation of the lvoers and the delay of all their hopes by a series of mishaps; the substitution of an infant and the late recognition of him as the rightful heir to the throne; the disguise of the hero as a woman in order to gain access to the one he loves; wars, treachery, single combats, close escapes, shipwreck, pirates, misdirected and mysterious letters, treasdures, poisoned clothing. All the mischances sure to separate the lovers, who finally triumph in spite of everything.? (Argenis, ed. Riley & Huber, p. 34). The verses in this first edition in English were translated by Thomas May. Of Kingesmill Long nothing seems to be known except that he matriculated at Oxford from St Alban's Hall aged 215 on 2 March 1603/4 on the same day as his brother aged 16 and they were descibed as gentlemen of Southampton. His connection with the dedictee, William Dunche of Avebury, is also unknown. Ben Jonson's projected translation was registered with the Stationers Company on 2 October 1623, but, the unfinishe [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Maggs Bros. Ltd ABA, ILAB, PBFA, BA]
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