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THE CONSENT OF TIME, DISCIPHERING THE ERRORS OF THE GRECIANS IN THEIR OLYMPIADS, THE VNCERTAINE COMPUTATION OF THE ROMANES IN THEIR PENTETERYDES AND BUILDING OF ROME, OF THE PERSIANS IN THEIR ACCOMPT OF CYRUS, AND OF THE VANITIES OF THE GENTILES IN FABLES OF ANTIQUITIES, DISAGREEING WITH THE HEBREWES, AND WITH THE SACRED HISTORIES IN CONSENT OF TIME
George Bishop, and Ralph Nevvberie, London 1590 - The Britwell Court Copy, in Superb Condition, and Perhaps once Belonging to Queen Elizabeth I. 213 x 162 mm (8 3/8 x 6 3/8"). 8 p.l., 722 pp. FIRST EDITION. VERY IMPORTANT CONTEMPORARY FLEXIBLE VELLUM EMBLAZONED WITH THE ROYAL ARMS OF ENGLAND at the center of both covers within a double frame of gilt rules and decorative cornerpieces, flat spine with gilt bands and titling, wallet edges, ORIGINAL SILK TIES. Publisher's device on title page, historiated headpieces, tailpieces, and initials. Front pastedown with the bookplates of John Hely-Hutchinson and Cornelius J. Hauck, shelfmark indicating ownership of Christie-Miller at Britwell Court (see below). Britwell Handlist, p. 599 (this copy); STC 16619; Lowndes II, 1377. Vellum a little rumpled, slightly soiled, and with some of its gilt muted, very small loss of vellum at bottom of front wallet edge, diminished top margin in last nine gatherings (a small handful of headlines just touched), other trivial imperfections, but still AN EXCEPTIONALLY FINE CONTEMPORARY COPY, the special binding solid and lustrous, and the leaves extraordinarily clean and fresh. This is a very special (one might almost say sensational) copy of a rare 16th century secular work in English. The author aims to establish a correct chronology for all of history, which he commences with the creation of the world and Adam, explaining in his preface that the Bible is an infallible source of correct chronology, and the Gentiles, such as Greek historian Thucydides, were hopelessly at fault. Although the method would not commend itself to a modern scholar, this survey of the history of the Holy Land, Greece, Rome, Persia, early Medieval Spain and France, and Turkey is an interesting reflection of the knowledge of history which a bookish Elizabethan possessed. Lodowick (or Ludovic) Lloyd (d. ca. 1610) was a Welsh courtier who held the position of sergeant at arms under both Elizabeth I and James I. Lloyd dabbled in poetry and produced historical compilations, the most important of which is "The Pilgrimage of Princes" (1573). His friend John Lane alleged (although this has been questioned) that Lloyd paid for the funeral of Spencer, who died in poverty. A less pleasant allegation is that Lloyd falsified a royal grant to him to make it more favorable, a peccadillo which the queen is conjectured to have overlooked because of her fondness for Lloyd. While we cannot say with certainty that the present copy was ever in the queen's possession, it is obviously a point of great interest to note the close relationship between our author and Elizabeth and, at the same time, to ponder the presence of the royal arms on the covers of our book. Whatever the case in the Elizabethan period, the later provenance of this volume is certainly distinguished. De Ricci says that the Britwell Court library was simply the most outstanding collection of English books ever assembled. The voracious book collector William Henry Miller (1789-1848) was a bibliophile who, in de Ricci's words, "literally bought by the cartload." He was a major buyer at the Heber sales, which featured much early English literature. The books were kept at Miller's Britwell Court estate in Buckinghamshire, where they were added to substantially by successors Samuel Christy (d. 1889) and Wakefield Christy (d. 1898), both of whom took the name Christie-Miller. Their immense library was sold between 1916 and 1927 at Sotheby's, bringing in more than £500,000 (the present copy sold on 23 March 1926 for £19). The work is exceptionally rare: ABPC lists no other complete copy at auction since at least 1975. It is difficult to convey how well-preserved this copy is; perhaps it is sufficient to note the survival of the original silk ties--something one could never hope for--and to say that the leaves are fresher than one could imagine in a 16th century English book. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Rare Books (ABAA)]
Last Found On: 2013-11-29           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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