London, South Kensington
1 June 2009
PLATO (427?-347 BC). His Apology of Socrates, and Phaedo or Dialogue concerning the immortality of mans soul, and manner of Socrates his death. Translated by Walter Charleton (1619-1707). London: T[homas] R[atcliffe] and N[athaniel] T[hompson] for James Magnes and Richard Bentley, 1675. 8° (180 x 113mm). Engraved frontispiece by R. White, title printed in red and black. (Frontispiece frayed at margin, title slightly thumb-soiled and with small blindstamp, first quire detached, B6, E8 and L3 with small holes slightly affecting text, without first blank but with two final blanks.) Contemporary calf (front cover lacking, rear cover detached, spine worn). Provenance: N. Hartley Hacking, architect, Manchester (stamp).
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH, AND THE FIRST PRINTED ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF AUTHENTIC DIALOGUES OF PLATO. This edition was preceded only by the pseudo-Platonic Axiochus translated by Spenser (printed in 1592 and known in a unique copy only) and a selection of Plato's dialogues printed for school use in 1673. The translator's identity is known through a copy which he presented to John Evelyn (see Evelyn Library sale, Christie's 16 March 1978, lot 1187). Wing P-2405; cf. Sears Jayne, Plato in Renaissance England, 1995, esp. p.139.
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