Secretary of State Edward Everett's Copy of
Cotton Mather. Magnalia Christi Americana:
or the Ecclesiastical History of New-England from Its First
Planting in the Year 1620. Unto the Year of Our Lord, 1698. In
Seven Books. London: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst, 1702. First
edition. Quarto. , 38; , 75, ; , 238; , 125-222;
100; , 88; 118,  pages. Main title page and individual title
pages for each of the seven books. Double page "An Exact Mapp of
New England and New York". Two advertisement leaves, one bound
between A4 and B1 and the other at the end.
Magnalia Christi Americana
Armorial bookplate of Massachusetts politician Edward Everett (1794-1865), who served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Governor of Massachusetts, and eventually as the 20th United States Secretary of State. French "Assignat de dix sous" label on front pastedown beneath bookplate. Full mottled calf boards sympathetically rebacked with new mottled calf spine, five raised spine bands with gilt stamped title and author in compartments, year at foot. Housed in a cloth covered slipcase.
Boards rubbed, scuffed, and crazed. Chipping and surface leather losses. Rear hinge cracked. Holograph pencil bookseller's notes on endpapers. Main title page tipped-in along inner margin of front free endpaper. Textblock cracked between main title page and the title page of Book I. Few marginal pencil notations, most notably in Chapter I of Book VI - "Christus super Aquas: Relating wonderful Sea Deliverances." Final advertisement leaf with an approximately two-and-a-half inch closed tear in its text. Minor dampstaining, edge wear, tears and paper chips, foxing to various degrees (heavier around margins), and occasional soiling. Overall in very good condition.
"As New England grew, there appeared, in various directions, a tendency to diverge from the rigid principles of the early days. To this we owe the single work of the seventeenth century in America which has any claim to literary permanence. This is the Magnalia Christi America, or Church History of New England, written between 1690 and 1700 by Cotton Mather, at that time the most conspicuous Conservative minister of Boston. Hastily written and far from trustworthy in detail, this book is in spirit a document of historical importance. ... [T]his big, confused folio was flung together; historical records, biographies of saintly ministers and magistrates, the story of Harvard College, the creeds and disciplines of the Churches, and the awful warnings for those who fell away" (Ward, et al.).
ESTC T79039. Sabin 46392. Ward, Prothero, and Leathes, The Cambridge Modern History, 727.
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