BOCCACCIO, Giovanni (1313-1375). [The Decameron]. The Modell of Wit, Mirth, Eloquence, and Conversation. Framed in ten days, of an hundred curious pieces, by seven honourable ladies, and three noble gentlemen. London: Isaac Jaggard for Mathew Lownes, 1625-1620.
2 volumes in one, 2° in 6's and 4's (287 x 183mm). Titles within differing woodcut borders, the border to volume I with a boar passant, the crest of the Sidney family, in top compartment, at the sides an Arcadian shephered and an Amazon, at the foot a boar approaching a bush with the motto 'non tibi spiro' [McKerrow and Ferguson 212], the border to volume II composed of six woodcut medallions repeated as vignettes throughout both volumes. Woodcut initials and ornaments. (Title to vol. I thumb-soiled, intermittent browning throughout, occasional stains, R5 of vol. I and 2N2 of vol. II with rust hole affecting a few letters, without front blank in vol. I.) Blue morocco gilt by Rivière and Son, sides with an elaborate border of a strawberry roll, gilt fillets and dotted lines, the border enhanced by corner and side-pieces built up with 'drawer-handles,' dots, stars, and volutes, spine in six compartments with raised bands, directly lettered in two, the remainder with repeated rosette and star motif, strawberry roll repeated on turn-ins, gilt edges (lower board edges lightly rubbed). Provenance: 'Job Lousley's Book Hampstead Norris Berks 1844' (inscription along inner margin of first title with a further 4-line appreciation of the book at upper margin).
Second edition of volume I, first edition of volume II. This was THE FIRST COMPLETE TRANSLATION IN ENGLISH, though the translator's identity is uncertain; no complimentary edition of the second volume was published. Boccaccio's influence on early English drama would be difficult to underestimate. At least fifty-four English plays, including several works by Shakespeare, have plots derived from the Decameron. Three years after printing the first edition, Jaggard went on to print the First Folio of Shakespeare (1623). Grolier Wither to Prior 250 (first edition); Pforzheimer 72 and 71; STC 3173 and 3172.