BLOME, Richard and Nicolas COX. The Gentleman's Recreation. In two parts. The first part being an encyclopedy of the arts and sciences ... the second part treats of horsemanship, hawking, hunting, fowling, fishing and agriculture, London: printed by S. Roycroft for Richard Blome, 1686. 2 parts in one volume, 2 (402 x 250mm.), imprimatur leaf, title in red and black, engraved frontispiece and 85 plates, woodcut illustrations, ruled in red throughout (one plate with marginal worming, outer margin of another closely shaved, occasional light marginal soiling or browning), later tree calf, spine gilt in compartmens with contrasting lettering-pieces (head and tail of spine chipped, joints cracked, extremities rubbed).
FIRST EDITION of a celebrated sporting book. Blome was a shameless plagiarist, and according to DNB generally considered "an impudent person" who induced hacks to write for him, and cozened noblemen into subscribing to his many works on heraldry and geography. In the introduction, he admits that part two of his book was based on Fortin's Les ruses innocentes, and that by collecting all the English authors on the same theme, Turberville, Markham and others, he "methodically digested the whole work into one entire body", taking four years to get the text "rectified by such sportsman as were excellent". W. & S. p. 35; Petit 229, Wing B3213; Schwerdt I, p. 72: "Perfect copies are rarely found".