16 June 2015
BALE, John, Bishop of Ossory (1495-1563). Les vies des evesques et papes de Rome … nouvellement traduites de latin en françois. Geneva: Conrad Badius, 1561.
8° (168 x 104mm). Woodcut title device and grotesque border. (Light browning to title and a few other leaves, r3-4, Q2 and aa1 with minor paper flaw, small wormhole in last 5 leaves.) Late 18th-century red morocco gilt, attributed to Derome in the Hamilton Palace catalogue, covers with double gilt panels and fleurons at corners, flat spine directly lettered and with repeated oval ornament, gilt turn-ins, gilt edges (corners a little knocked, small wormhole in the last five leaves). Provenance: William Beckford (1709-1770, sold in part IV of the Hamilton Palace Sale, 29 November 1883, Supplement, lot 730) – bibliographical notes in English in a late 19th-century hand on front endpapers.
FIRST EDITION IN FRENCH OF THIS INCISIVE PROTESTANT PAMPHLET, TRANSLATED AND PRINTED IN GENEVA BY CONRAD BADIUS.
The English churchman, historian, controversialist and bishop of Ossory John Bale wrote the oldest known historical verse drama in English and developed and published a very extensive list of the works of British authors down to his own time.
A very fine copy preserved in 18th-century morocco, from William Beckford’s library.
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