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The Historie of the Reigne of King Henry the Seventh
London: sold by R. Meighen, 1641. Quarto, portrait frontispiece and decorative woodblock title-page (a little shaved at fore-edge margin); some staining to first few leaves, light foxing, but a good copy in contemporary full polished calf, joints strengthened and rebacked, retaining original gilt lettered backstrip. Early edition of Lord Bacon's history of Henry VII, the first Tudor king of England who ruled 1485 to 1509. When impeached and imprisoned in the Tower during the winter of 1620, Bacon kept his promise to King James I to write a history of the English kings. The Historie of the Reigne of King Henry the Seventh was intended as the first such work, and Bacon is known to have commenced, but never completed, another volume on Henry the Eighth. Bacon drew on his extensive personal experience as a statesman within the Tudor court, blending hardened pragmatism with enlightened philosophical reflection. The Dictionary of National Biography records that Bacon 'wrote with breathtaking speed, presenting the manuscript to the king early in October…It should be seen in the context of humanist historiography rather than as a precursor of its modern methods. Bacon was keenly interested in the conventional topics of virtue and fortune, but was unconventional in placing a much stronger emphasis on fortune than virtue. The central lesson of The History of Henry VII was that a ruler must remain open to accident and ready to seize the opportunities it offered.'.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-07-29           Check availability:      Biblio    

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