BIBLE, English. [The Byble in Englyshe, that is to saye the content of all the holy scrypture, bothe of ye olde and newe testament... Revised by Miles Coverdale from Matthew's Bible for Thomas Cromwell. Paris and London: Francois Regnault, Richard Grafton and Edward Whitchurch, 1539].
5 parts in 2 volumes, 2o (362 x 253 mm). Gothic letter, double- column, title border to the New Testament formed by 8 pictorial blocks, numerous woodcut illustrations in text, woodcut initials from various sets. (19 leaves lacking: preliminary *6, A1, Q4 blank, AA1, AA2 and AA3 supplied in facsimile, Aaa1, Cc5 supplied from a later edition, Hh7, Ll6-8 and Nn6-8 supplied from a later edition, some leaves torn or repaired affecting text of DD5, HH6, HH7, Mm4, Nn1 and 2 numerous running titles trimmed.) Modern calf antique. Provenance: John Jeffries (bookplate laid-in); Samuel Turner (bookplate laid-in); C. Holson (bookplate laid-in); Philadelphia Divinity School (perforated stamp).
FIRST EDITION OF THE "GREAT BIBLE." For his revisions Coverdale used Sebastian Münster's Latin translation of the Hebrew O.T., Erasmus' Latin Version of the N.T. and the Complutensian Polyglot. Because of Cromwell's patronage this version is also known as "Cromwell's Bible," and sometimes--with less reason--as "Cranmer's Version." "The printing was originally entrusted by Grafton and Whitchurch to Francis Regnault, the Paris printer. But at the end of 1538 the work was suppressed by the French authorities, and many of the sheets confiscated. Coverdale and Grafton, however, were able to save some, and to transport the necessary presses, type and workmen to London, where the edition was completed in April 1539" (Darlow & Moule 25). STC 2068. Complete copies are extremely rare. (2)