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CHARLES I (1600-1649) -- M[ILTON], J[ohn] (1608-1674). Eikonoklastes in Answer to a Book intitl'd Eikon basilike. London: Matthew Simmons, 1649.
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CHARLES I (1600-1649) -- M[ILTON], J[ohn] (1608-1674). Eikonoklastes in Answer to a Book intitl'd Eikon basilike. London: Matthew Simmons, 1649.

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CHARLES I (1600-1649) -- M[ILTON], J[ohn] (1608-1674). Eikonoklastes in Answer to a Book intitl'd Eikon basilike. London: Matthew Simmons, 1649.

4º (185 x 136mm). Title in red and black. (Washed, title slightly shaved, small, mainly marginal repairs.) 19th-century tan calf, gilt spine with two labels, red edges. Provenance: Sir Henry Hope Edwardes, 10th Baronet (1829-1900; bookplate).

FIRST EDITION of Milton's infamous antimonarchical tract. As the title states, Eikonoklastes ('Image Breaker') was a reply to Eikon basilike ('Image of the King'). Widely accepted as the spiritual autobiography of Charles I, the latter was published on 9 February 1649, ten days after the King was beheaded by Parliament. The fifty editions in various languages which appeared within a year alarmed the council of state who initially asked John Selden to respond; when he refused, they turned to Milton. Pforzhimer notes that, after the Restoration, Eikonoklastes 'was ordered ... to be burned by the common hangman .... Copies of this first edition are uncommon and are lacking in several notable Milton collections.’ Coleridge, Milton, 18; Grolier, Wither to Prior 577; Parker, Milton 963; Pforzheimer 709; Wing M-2112.
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