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    Three Fine Bindings of Barclay from the Library of
    Noted Book Collector Theodore Williams

    John Barclay. Argenis... [with:] Archombrotus et Theopompus sive Argenidis... [with:] Euphormionis Lusini, Sive...Satyricon...Accessit Conspiratio Angelicana. Leiden & Rotterdam: Officina Hackiana, 1664, 1669, and 1674. First Variorum Edition. Octavo. Three volumes. [25], 637, [15]; [22], 624, [13]; [22], 720 pages. Three finely engraved title pages (two of the same unsigned design for volumes of the Argenis), the one in the Satyricon is by G. Appelmans, printer's device on second title page of Satyricon, portrait of Barclay in first volume on verso of [*8], head- and tail-pieces, and decorated initials. Fine later full green morocco with previous owner's coat-of-arms on covers [T.W., with the Latin motto: 'Deus Alit Me' - see extended description], lightly rubbed at edges, minor scuffs, spines banded, titles gilt, all edges gilt, large dentelles with offset onto free endpapers, small pencil dealer's notations of endpapers of first volume, bookplate of Joseph Neeld on front pastedown of each volume, title pages have old owner's name excised and expertly repaired, else a lovely set in fine bindings. These three volumes form a "variorum edition" of Barclay's works (see Brunet & Graesse). From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    More Information:

    "Barclay (1582-1621) is a writer of the highest merit, who has adapted the style of Petronius, elevated by the assiduous study of more dignified models, with signal success to the requirements of his own day. His Satyricon shows how completely at an early age he had appropriated the fascinating elegance of Petronius, while good taste or good morals kept his matter singularly pure, considering his age and his vocation as a satirist. There is more of youthful vigour in the Satyricon, more weight and finish in the Argenis, which enjoys the further advantages of an interesting plot and a serious purpose. The Satyricon is partly autobiographical, partly based on his father's adventures, and one main object is the ridicule of persons individually obnoxious to him, such as the Duke of Lorraine, who figures under the name of Callion. The Jesuits are attacked under the collective designation of Acignii; and the puritans, whom Barclay hardly liked better, are impersonated under the figure of Catharinus. In the Argenis, though most of the characters are real personages, the merely personal element is less conspicuous; the author's purpose is graver, and his scope wider. He designed to admonish princes and politicians, and above all to denounce political faction and conspiracy, and show how they might be repressed. The League and the Gunpowder plot had evidently made a strong impression on his youthful mind. The valour and conduct of Archombrotus and Poliarchus (both representing Henry IV), the regal dignity and feminine weakness of Hyanisbe (Elizabeth), the presumptuous arrogance of Radirobanes (Philip II), are powerfully depicted. As a story, the work occasionally flags, but the style and the thoughts maintain the reader's interest. Fénelon's Telemachus is considerably indebted to it, and it is an indispensable link in the chain which unites classical with modern fiction. It has equally pleased men of action and men of letters; with the admiration of statesmen like Richelieu and Leibnitz." - DNB

    Provenance: The arms are those of Reverend Theodore Williams (died 1826) whose collection was sold in 1827. "He was a genuine collector...Mr. Williams' books were remarkable for their handsome bindings, usually the work of Clarke..."[Quaritch, Dict. of Eng. Book Collectors VI]  "...mainly consisting of biblical texts, books printed on vellum and volumes on large or largest paper. Nearly all were bound in blue or green morocco with the collector's crest, showing his initials T.W. in a small oval" [De Ricci, English Collectors, 99].  It then passed into the collection of Joseph Neeld (Hazlitt, Roll of Honour, 164 (of Fullham, Middlesex).

    STCN 166408; 166908 & 167408. Graesse I, 291. Brunet I, 652.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 653

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