DRAYTON, Michael (1563-1631). Poly-Olbion. Or A Chorographicall Description of Tracts, Rivers, Mountaines, Forests, and other Parts of this renowned Isle of Great Britaine. London: H[umphrey] L[ownes] for M. Lownes, J. Browne, J. Helme, J. Busbie, 1613.
2° (289 x 188mm). With the Table, bound after the portrait. Engraved allegorical frontispiece depicting Britannia, engraved full-length portrait of Prince Henry, both by W. Hole, 18 double-page engraved maps on guards. (Without the front blank, small marginal repair in the letterpress title, some mostly-marginal repairs, some leaves with the bottom margin extended including one map, occasional soiling.) Early 20th-century tan morocco, sides gilt with a scrolling border, spine gilt in compartments, gilt edges (light offsetting on endpapers). Provenance: ?Thomas Fairfax (title signature, Fairfax armorial bookplate preserved from earlier binding) -- Victor Villiers, Ear of Jersey (Osterley Park bookplate) -- S.A. Thompson Yates (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION, second issue, of Drayton's great patriotic poem, each song accompanied by a map of the region celebrated. It is 'a wonderful work, exhibiting at once the learning of an historian, an antiquary, a naturalist, and a geographer: and embellished by the imagination of a poet' (Lowndes, p. 671). A continuation was published a decade later, in 1622. This copy of the second issue has the letterpress title dated 1613, all the maps showing page numbers, the portrait of Prince Henry with its caption, and the four-page table bound ahead of the main body of the text. Grolier Langland to Wither 84; Lowndes p. 671; cf. Pforzheimer 308; STC 7227.