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The Historie of the World, in Five Bookes…
London: G. Lathum, and R. Young,, 1634. Folio (338 × 216 mm). Contemporary calf, rebacked, red morocco label. Allegorical engraved half-title by Renold Elstrack, dated 1614, explanatory text, "The Minde of the Front" bound facing, portrait of Ralegh to the title page, 6 double-page, copper-engraved maps and 2 similar battle-plans by William Hole, two pedigrees to the text, woodcut head- and tailpieces, historiated initials. A little rubbed at the extremities, free endpapers somewhat creased, light toning, a few paper flaws and splits, no loss, and light damping at the margins, but overall a very good copy. First published 1617. The major literary production of Ralegh's period of imprisonment, "a substantial work, of about a million words, in five books, running from the creation of the world to 146 BC, the time of the second Macedonian war. The first two books are principally, though not wholly, concerned with biblical history, the last three mainly with the story of Greece and Rome" (ODNB). Begun in 1607 and entered in the Stationer's Register in 1611, first publication should have been in 1614, but Ralegh's use of history as a "moral exemplum", one central theme being the "general wickedness of kings and the severity of God's judgement upon them", led to its suppression by the Archbishop of Canterbury as "too sawcie in censuring princes". All copies were seized by the king's agents for his own use. However, the suppression was soon lifted and the Historie was reprinted in 1617, and remained extremely popular with at least 11 editions produced in the seventeenth century.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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