30 April 2008
SAVILE, Henry (1549-1622). Praelectiones tresdecim in Principium Elementorum Euclidis. Oxford; John Lichfield and James Short, 1621.
4° (192 x 144mm). Roman, italic and Greek types. Device of the University of Oxford on title, woodcut text diagrams, head- and tailpieces and initials. (Two small marginal wormholes/short wormtrack, some light browning.) Contemporary vellum over thin pasteboard, title lettered along spine, later red leather label (lettering rubbed, without two fore-edge ties). Provenance: Paul ?Serveti, Venice (presentation inscription from the author on title) -- [Pinelli] -- Francis Ferrand Foljambe (title inscription recording his purchase of it at the Pinelli sale, 1789).
PRESENTATION COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION, WITH MANUSCRIPT ADDITIONS, INCLUDING TWO DIAGRAMS, BY SAVILE. Warden of Merton College, Oxford, Provost of Eton, patron of and donor to the library established by his friend Thomas Bodley, Sir Henry Savile was one of the foremost scholars of his day. The Praelectiones are a series of lectures on Euclid's Elements delivered to inaugurate the Savilian professorships in Geometry and Astronomy, which he founded. Euclid was a life-long interest; he recorded elsewhere that he could forget to eat or sleep when absorbed by his study of the Elements. His lectures are today 'still of scholarly worth' (ODNB). Although the Savile family and the Foljambes later became connected, this copy was not inherited by Francis Ferrand but purchased at the Pinelli library sale in 1789. Savile and a Pinelli forebear (Gian Vicenzo) had been close friends, but this copy was given by Savile to another Venetian before joining the Pinelli library. STC 21782; Madan I, p. 116.
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