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BUNYAN, John (1628-1688). A Discourse of the Building, Nature, Excellency, and Government of the House of God. With counsels and directions to the inhabitants thereof. London: George Larkin, 1688.

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BUNYAN, John (1628-1688). A Discourse of the Building, Nature, Excellency, and Government of the House of God. With counsels and directions to the inhabitants thereof. London: George Larkin, 1688.

8° (151 x 91mm). Collation: Title [A]1, B-E8, Licence leaf ?[A]2. In verse. (Blank outer margins of D6-7 possibly strengthened; licence leaf re-inforced at inner margin, with light soiling and creasing; occasional very slight spotting.) Early 19th-century calf, blue morocco lettering-pieces on spine (front joint cracked but firm, light scuffing). Provenance: Title dated by the first owner 23. Jan 1688/7, and priced 4d.; J. Mitford (signature dated October 1824); Cardiff Castle bookplate.

A FINE COPY OF THE RARE FIRST EDITION. Wing lists only two copies: one in the British Library and one in the Bodleian. The present copy has a licence leaf dated 6th December 1687, granted by Rob. Midgley, which was lacking in the Harmsworth copy collated by Harrison. It is probable that, although here bound at the end of the volume, it was originally conjugate with the title. The work "was originally published as a pocket volume of sixty-three pages" (Offor): the present copy bears three stab marks in the inner margins, from its early life as a pamphlet. The J. Mitford whose signature appears on the front free endpaper was probably the Reverend John Mitford (1781-1859), whose books were sold by Sotheby and Wilkinson over twenty days between April and July 1860, raising ¨4846. Wing B-5510 (2 copies only); Harrison 39 (records three copies: two belonging to R. L. Harmsworth and one at the Pierpont Morgan Library, although none of these is listed in the new Wing).
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