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Familiar Epistles
1620 - CICERO (WEBBE, Joseph, translator). The Familiar Epistles of M.T. Cicero. Englished and Conferred with the French, Italian and Other Translations. London: Edward Griffin, [1620]. Thick 12mo, contemporary full brown calf rebacked, raised bands, original burgundy morocco spine label; pp. [22], 919, [1]. $7200.First edition of the very scarce first complete translation into English of all 16 books of Cicero's familiar epistles, with engraved title page. From the library of Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover and fifth son of King George III, with his distinctive red library stamp on the verso of the title page."Cicero wins our affections by the integrity of his public conduct, the purity of his private life, the generosity, placability, and kindness of heart, the playfulness of his temper, and the warmth of his domestic attachments. In this respect his letters are invaluable. Here we see the man without disguise or affectation, especially in his letters to Atticus" (Peck, 341). Abraham Fleming's translation Certain Select Epistles appeared in 1576; it was not until King James encouraged Joseph Webbe to undertake this translation that the entire 16 books of letters were translated into English. Without first two leaves, both blank except for signature marks between rows of type ornaments (OCLC). STC 5305. This copy from the library of the King of Hanover, Ernest Augustus (1771-1851), the fifth son of King George III (and uncle of Queen Victoria), with his library's characteristic red armorial inkstamp on the verso of the title page. The controversial Duke of Cumberland was reviled in England""perhaps in part due to the challenge he could potentially pose to Victoria""but revered in Hanover, where he was seen as a stern but just ruler, not long after he became King in 1837. "At a time of economic growth in Hanover, the king's benevolent autocracy suited the majority of his subjects. He won a popular respect which was in striking contrast to the mistrust his reputation perpetuated in Britain. Relations with his niece, Queen Victoria, remained strained; he complained that she held crown jewels belonging rightly to Hanover; and he did not approve her choice of husband, for to him the Coburgs were ambitious upstarts. During a visit to London in 1843 he was again pilloried in the newspapers. Yet when revolution shook Germany in 1848 he found he could count on his subjects' loyalty; only one life was lost that year in demonstrations in Hanover. Ernest Augustus, the Black Sheep, as Queen Victoria's father once called him, outlived his eight brothers, finally succumbing 'to a chill' in Hanover on 18 November 1851". Voluntary contributions paid for an equestrian statue, erected outside Hanover's Hauptbahnhof. It was inscribed, 'To the father of his country from a faithful people'" (ODNB). This volume bears Ernest Augustus' "Fideicommiss" stamp, which reads "Ex Bibliotheca Fideicomm. Ernesti Aug." and bears the Hanoverian coat of arms, and also has evidence of the shelfmark label on the front pastedown. In 1866 the Kingdom of Hanover was annexed by Prussia and the library was confiscated; in 1892 the library was returned to Ernst August II, Crown Prince of Hanover and Duke of Cumberland, and a new library was established in Gmunden, Austria, called the K├Ânigliche Ernst August-Fideicommissbibliothek.Interior generally clean. A very good copy in contemporary calf, with a royal provenance. [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-12-01           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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