[SHEPHERD'S CALENDAR]. Here begynneth the kalender of Shepardes. Newly augmented and corrected. London: William Powell for John Walley, 1559.
2o (247 x 173 mm). Calendar printed in red and black. 76 leaves (of 104, lacking B5 [January and February of the calendar], F8, H-I8, M4.5 and N1). 41 large woodcuts and numerous smaller woodcuts, including woodcut border-pieces and ornaments. (Lacking 28 leaves, upper corner of A8 torn with loss of some text, E5 and 7 and K7 with small marginal repaired tears, a few wormholes at beginning catching some letters.) 18th-century tree calf gilt (front cover detached). Provenance: George Boner (seven-leaf contemporary English manuscript of "Liber aureus medicorum" at end, his annotation on c4r); Boies Penrose (bookplates); acquired from Bernard Quaritch, 1972.
A RARE EDITION of the Shepherd's Kalendar. As a compendium of useful advice, it is particularly rich on medical information, ranging from describing things both good and evil for different parts of the body, to recipes for treating particular ailments, such as the plague, to naming the bones in the human body, to giving rules for blood-letting. Other practical information contained within it is a perpetual calendar, woodcuts showing phases of the moon, description of the planets and astrology, proverbs, and folk wisdom. The soul is not neglected, and the tortures of hell are both described in words and illustrated by woodcuts. An explication of the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer and Creed, and individual meditations cater for one's spiritual needs. It is particularly well-illustrated. The majority of the woodcuts in the present copy are those first used by Vérard at Paris in his 1503 translation (see Mortimer French 125).
All editions of the Shepherd's Kalendar are extremely rare. The first edition, printed by Vérard at Paris in 1503, is extant in three copies (two imperfect) and a small fragment, and subsequent editions, of which STC distinguishes 18, most often survive in unique copies. According to American Book Prices Current, only two imperfect copies of Powell's 1556 edition have appeared on the market in the last 30 years. STC 22413 (recording three copies only, including the Vershbow copy).