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EEN KLARE ENDE DUYDELIJCKE UYTLEGGINGHE OVER - Dod, Johan, and Robert Cleaver - 1617. 
Leiden: Guiliaem Brewster, 1617. ,183[i.e. 182]pp. Quarto. Contemporary vellum. Spine somewhat darkened. Light marginal dampstaining to some leaves. Very good. A precious survivor of the Pilgrim Press at Leyden under the direction of William Brewster, and one of only three titles published during its very brief span of activity to bear his imprint. The text is also significant, being Brewster's Dutch edition of Dod's important nonconformist exposition of the Ten Commandments - one of the most influential statements of practical Puritan ethics. Before setting out upon their historic voyage to found a community in the New World, the Puritans, under the leadership of William Brewster, fled their native England for temporary asylum in Holland - first in Amsterdam, which they found uncongenial, then in 1609 in Leyden. There they established a press both to promulgate their teachings, which they were prohibited from publishing in England, and to support themselves. As Harris and Jones have aptly noted, the press was an expression of the same striving for religious freedom which Brewster and his fellow pilgrims would later seek in America: "The establishment of all the Leyden Printing-house was of the nature of a new religion; at all events it was a religious act at the center of a new religion" - THE PILGRIM PRESS. The precise number and identity of titles produced by the Leyden firm during its three or so years of operation have been the subject of some controversy. As noted above, the title offered here is one of the only three to contain Brewster's name on the titlepage, of approximately twenty works associated with the press; and while Brewster's claim to being the work's publisher is beyond question, doubt has been raised about whether he carried out the actual job of printing. Nevertheless, what matters in the case at hand is that the Pilgrim publisher inscribed his name on the work's titlepage, acknowledging it as a production of his firm, and enjoying the right to free expression of which he would partake in even greater measure upon his arrival in America. William Brewster (1567-1644) was the leading figure in the community of dissident Puritans in their Scrooby, Leyden, and Plymouth residencies. He was the principal planner of the emigration to America in concert with the Virginia Company, the most important authority in the community's religious life in America, and second only to Bradford in all other community decisions. The town of Brewster, Massachusetts, is named after him, as are innumerable libraries, parks and streets throughout New England. A rare title, of which OCLC records just ten copies worldwide. The only auction record comes from the Trumbull sale at the American Art Association in 1921, w copy brought $280. HARRIS & JOHNES, THE PILGRIM PRESS 4. STC 6973 (English 1604). William Haller, THE RISE OF PURITANISM, pp.119-20. Gordon S. Wakefield, PURITAN DEVOTION, pp.6-7.
[Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana ]
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