London, South Kensington
30 November 2010
DONNE, John (1573-1631). Biathanatos. A Declaration of that Paradoxe, or Thesis, that Selfe-homicide is not so Naturally Sinne, that it may never be otherwise. London: John Dawson . 4° (191 x 140mm). Without initial blank. (First 3 leaves with repair to margin, light marginal browning.) Contemporary panelled calf (expertly rebacked preserving old spine, new spine label, rear free endpaper renewed with the original now bound at front). Provenance: early readers (annotations on title and front free endpaper) -- Everard Meynell (bookplate laid in).
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE with the title undated, of the earliest of Donne's controversial writings, published posthumously. Donne had always been reluctant to publish and was content to let the work, which expressed his doubts about the absolute sinfulness of suicide, circulate in manuscript. Keynes 47; Wing D-1848.
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