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    [Featured Lot] Matthew of Paris "called Westminster" & Florence of Worcester. Flores Historiarum Per Matthaeum Westmonasteriensem Collecti, Praecipu de Rebus Britannicis Ab exordio mundi usque ad annum Domini. MCCCVII. Et Chronicon Ex Chronicis, Ab Initio Mundi Usque Ad annum Domini MCXVIII, deductum: Auctore Florentino Wigorniensi monacho. Cui accessit Continuatio Usque Ad Annum Christi MCXLI. per quendam eiusdem coenobli eruditum. Frankfurt: Andreas Wechel Heirs for Claude de Marne & Heirs of John Aubry, 1601. Folio. (:)4,A-M6,N4 (duplicates of N3&4],O-Z6,2A-2Z6,3A-3O6. [6],290,300-696,[25]p. Old calf, rebacked, modern paper label, bookplate of James Whatman, foxing and paper toning, hole in KK4 (minimal loss). Large printer's device on t.p. and verso of last leaf, woodcut head-pieces, and initials. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Krown & Spellman retail: $850

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    Matthew of Westminster is a fictious author, the Flores is a compilation of materials from different authors at St Albans and Westminster.

    Florence of Worcester d. 1118, chronicler, a monk of Worcester, is said by one of his continuators, who praises his skill and industry, to have died on 7 July 1118 (Flor. Wig. ii. 72). This is all that is known of his personal history. He wrote the 'Chronicon ex Chronicis,' which is based on the work of Marianus, an Irish monk. Marianus, who died in 1082 or 1083, composed a general chronicle from the creation to his own time, containing a few notices of events relating to Britain and Ireland. The additions of Florence nearly all refer to English affairs. From 455 to 597 he uses the 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,' then chiefly Baeda to 732, and then again the 'Chronicle' and lives of saints, and later Asser's 'Life of Alfred,' together with some short extracts from Abbo. From 946 to 971 he relies on the 'Lives' of Dunstan, Oswald, and Aethelwold, and then again returns to the 'Chronicle,' which he amplifies from other sources. Some events specially connected with Worcester receive notice, though passed over by the English chronicle-writers. After the conclusion of the work of Marianus, Florence still goes on recording some pieces of continental history. His own work ends at 1117; he has several continuators. One of the earliest of them was a monk of Worcester named John. Orderic (p. 504) says that John, a monk of Worcester, added to the work of Marianus matters belonging to the reigns of the Conqueror and his sons, William Rufus and Henry, down to his own day, and that his chronicle, which covered nearly a hundred years, was undertaken at the command of Bishop Wulfstan. He no doubt found John employed on the works of Marianus and Florence when he visited Worcester about 1136, and probably confused the continuator, and possibly transcriber, of Florence with the original author. One continuator went down to 1031, another probably to 1037, another to 1141, and one manuscript has a continuation to 1295. Florence used a version of the 'Chronicle' which has since been lost; it was no doubt a version written at Worcester, which is to some extent represented by the Peterborough 'Chronicle.' This fact invests his work with peculiar importance, indeed it is one of the most valuable of the authorities for early English history; but it is impossible to say how much of the passages which are not to be traced to extant versions of the 'Chronicle' or other early sources is to be set down as translation from this lost Worcester chronicle, or is to be regarded as merely the amplifications of the twelfth-century compiler. Florence is an industrious and careful writer, but either he or the work which he copied adopted views on certain subjects, such, for example, as the causes of the English defeats in the reign of ®thelred the Unready, which seem exaggerated."

      The Matthew of Westminster was edited by Archbishop  Matthew Parker and is expanded from the 1567 printed with additions from Paris. Parker (1504-75) is to be lauded for his great efforts in preparing the earliest editions of the most important English chronicle histories while ,as Archbishop of Canterbury, he was embrolied in the religious controversies of his day.

    The Florence of Worcester was edited by William Howard of Naworth.

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    6th Thursday
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