5 April 2016
[BEVERLEY, Robert (ca 1673-ca1722)]. The History and Present State of Virginia, In Four Parts. London: for R. Parker, 1705.
8° (191 x 116 mm). Engraved title-page and 14 engraved plates by S. Gribelin after DeBry, letterpress folding table. (A few pale stains, 3/4-in. strip excised from foot of A2 affecting signature and catchwords, minor loss to 4A2 and 4A3 affecting headline.) Contemporary blind paneled sprinkled calf, board edges gilt, sprinkled edges (spine repaired, some light wear). Provenance: Earls of Macclesfield (shelfmark on lower pastedown, blind armorial stamp on engraved title, title-page, and the first few leaves; sold Sotheby’s London, 13 March 2008, lot 3882).
FIRST EDITION of “the earliest history of Virginia, after Captain John Smith’s…written primarily to correct Oldmixon. …Beverley’s style is easy, unsophisticated, and pleasing, and his work is most useful for the period following the Restoration. It was translated into French and appeared in two editions at Orleans and Amsterdam, respectively, in 1707” (Church). Beverley was a native Virginian. Born in Jamestown, he was not just an historian of Colonial Virginia; he was a member of the House of Burgesses from 1699 until 1706, and he served as the chief clerk of the Governor’s Council. Church 821; Howes B-410; Sabin 5112.
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