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Venice: Gabriel Giolito de' Ferrari, 1559 Venice: Gabriel Giolito de' Ferrari, 1559. soft cover. Very Good/In the context of Renaissance society, publishing a well-crafted letter was one more way for courtiers and notables to broadcast their refinement, like wearing the clothes we see in Renaissance portraiture.Apparently private letters were indeed public matter, enthusiastically shared and discussed. Some letters became famous. Renaissance publishers could not resist the urge to anthologize such fare. Paolo Manuzio and several other established publishers issued collections of letters, and so did Gabriel Giolito de' Ferrari. Giolito had his resident scholar, Lodovico Dolce, create a greatest hits volume of letters that had appeared in print in a wide variety of sources. Dolce set out to collect "the most beautiful letters and the ones of greatest value." The collection first appeared in 1554, and it became a model for a certain type of familiar-sounding Italian prose, as well as a treasury of stories involving some of 16th-century Italy's greatest minds. The book was produced in small quantity and quickly sold out. A second edition was necessary, and Dolce prepared it with a completely new dedication, and with notable changes in content from the 1554 edition, including the addition of several letters by Giulia da Ponte. Of the two editions, Bongi writes "both are very uncommon, and highly sought by collectors. Since there are notable differences between the two, with each containing letters that are missing in the other, both would be worthy of acquisition by a true devotee (Bongi I, 442).. Octavo (17cm); 488, [16] pages. Giolito device (phoenix atop flaming orb) on title page; alternate device (phoenix facing the sun) on colophon page. Woodcut initials and ornaments throughout. Bound for utility in contemporary flexible vellum, worn and discolored in places, and not entirely entire. Text block sound and generally in very good condition, with few stains. Early ownership inscription in ink in upper margin of title page. Notation in early hand on rear blank, later notes on last two text pages. Generally, a clean, sound copy in well-worn binding. Reference: Bongi, II,67; Gamba, 1462 (1554 ed.; also citing a 1558 edition which does not appear to have actually existed).
      [Bookseller: Rodger Friedman Rare Book Studio ]
Last Found On: 2014-06-17           Check availability:      ABAA    


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