London: Adam Islip, 1601.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Folio - over 12 - 15" tall. Very Good. Item #003314
Two parts in one volume. Folio (315 x 218 mm). , 614, ; , 632,  pp. Woodcut device on titles, woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces, errata leaf at the end of volume two. 19th-century calf over wooden boards, spine with 5 raised bands, gilt ruling and gilt-lettered morocco label, brown-sprinkled edges, marbled endpapers (boards and extremities rubbed). Text generally very crisp and clean, first title leaf slightly soiled and with unobtrusive repair at top blank margin, first 4 gatherings with light brown central stain and tiny hole in two leaves, a few smally rust spots, closed tear without loss in leaves L6 and T6 of part 1, leaves H3-4 with paper flaw at blank fore-margin and light brown staining at top margin, light dampstaining to final page. Provenance: contemporary annotations possibly by Anne Whitacres, mentioning on final free endpaper the date of her marriage to Myles Whitacres and the birth dates of three of her children. A very good, much better than average, copy. ----
Norman 1719; Pforzheimer, 496; STC 20029; PMM 5 (for 1st ed.). FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE (with the Islip imprint) of the first complete English translation of the most important encyclopaedia of Antiquity, made by the learned physician Philemon Holland (1552-1637). "This encyclopaedia of ancient knowledge about the natural world had already had a great indirect influence in England, as elsewhere in Europe, but had not been translated into English before, and would not be again for 250 years. Indeed, after four centuries, Holland is still the only translator of this work to attempt to evoke its literary richness and beauty" (ODNB). The 37 books forming the Naturalis Historia provide an unsurpassed insight into the Roman and Greek understanding of astronomy, mathematics, geography, ethnography, anthropology, human physiology, zoology, botany, agriculture, horticulture, pharmacology, mining, mineralogy, sculpture, painting and gemology. Holland compiled a detailed table of contents and two indexes of subjects; he dedicated the work to Sir Robert Cecil. Lowndes says "A work of immense labour, and what few men of his time could have executed in a superior manner to Dr. Holland." Extensively used as a source by Shakespeare, notably for King Lear and The Tempest. - Visit our website to see more images!
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