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    An Early Edition of Camden's Landmark Britannia

    William Camden. Britannia sive Florentissimorum Regnorum, Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae, et Insularum adiacentium ex intima antiquitate Chorographica descriptio. Authore Guilielmo Camdeno. Nunc quartò recognita, ¶ magna accessione post Germanicam Aeditionem adaucta. London: [Eliot's Court Press for] George Bishop, 1594. Fourth edition. Octavo. A-3A8, 3B3 [lacks 3B4, blank]. [16], 717, [25] pages. Woodcut title-page, initials, head- and tail- pieces. Text illustrations. Modern full brown morocco, gilt rules on spine, title in gilt on red leather label. Title-page repaired at lower outer corner and following leaf (no text affected) lower outer corners chipped on the first ninety pages (no loss of text), edges of text darkened, numerous old underlines and occasional notes, tear in margin of 3A6. A good copy. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    Camden (1551-1623), antiquarian and historian, is one of the giants of English scholarship. "Camden...undertook the systematic preparation of the 'Britannia.' For this work Camden's labours were enormous. Among other things, he tells us that he had to get some knowledge of the Welsh and Anglo-Saxon languages, to read and read again both native and other historians, many of whose works still remained in manuscript, and to ransack and select from the public records; and to all this, be it remembered, was added the 'laboriosissimum munus' of teaching.

    After ten years' toil the 'Britannia' was completed, and appeared with a dedication to Lord-treasurer Burghley, dated 2 May 1586, the day on which Camden completed his thirty-fifth year. Its success was great; nothing of the kind had been attempted since the days of Leland, and by him only in briefer outline. In the space of four years it passed through three London editions, besides a reprint at Frankfort in 1590; a fourth edition came out in 1594. All these editions had the supervision of the author, and the last was more fully illustrated with genealogical matter. The present offering is a guidebook to Britain with each county described in regard to its archaeology, history, and geography. " (DNB).

    STC 4506.ESTC s107385. Index Aurel. 130.396.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,041

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