BONDE, William (d.1530). A devoute treatyse in Englysshe, called the Pilgrymage of perfeccyon. - Exposition of the Ave. - The Creed. - Rosary of our Saviour Jesu. London: Wynkyn de Worde, 23 February 1531.
2° (266 x 179mm). Collation: Aa-Bb6 a-z6 A-X6 2A-2F6 2G-2H4 (Aa1r title, large woodcut of St. Bridget, 2 woodcut border strips, Aa1v table, a1r prologue, a2v text, 2F3v first colophon, large woodcut of Saints in Glory, 2F4r Rosary of our Saviour Jesu, 2H4r second colophon, 2H4v large De Worde device [formerly Caxton's, McKerrow 1b].) 318 leaves (of 320, sheet c3.4 in facsimile). 42 lines and headline, shoulder notes. Type: 95B. Two large woodcuts [Hodnett 457 and 538], woodcut tablets, De Worde device. (Small wormhole in last third of volume affecting a few letters, L2r soiled, occasional staining, particularly in first 3 leaves and in quires 2F and 2G, paper flaw in Bb1 affecting 2 letters, lacking the 3 fold-out woodcuts.) 19th-century blue-green morocco, blindtooled panel on sides outlined with single gilt fillets, spine lettered in gilt, grey-green glazed endpapers, gilt edges (slightly rubbed at extremities, short scuff mark on lower cover). Provenance: a few 16th-century annotatons; Charles Longuet Higgins (Turvey Abbey bookplate dated 1874).
SECOND EDITION, with the addition of the 'Exposition of the Ave' and the Creed. The Pilgrymage of perfeccyon is one of a number of devotional treatises written in English for publication which originated at Syon Abbey. Owing to its royal foundation by Henry V in 1415 and its proximity to the royal palace at Greenwich, Syon enjoyed considerable prestige, attracting noble and learned men and women as its brothers and nuns. William Bonde was one such brother, having first been a fellow at Queens' College and Pembroke College, Cambridge. The Pilgrymage was written primarily for those responsible for the cure of souls, as the Syon brothers were for their Syon sisters. It is a comprehensive guide to contemplation and meditation -- 'to joye and jubilie of the soul' as Bonde eloquently expresses it -- and it gives actual meditations to be used. (See Jan T. Rhodes, 'Syon Abbey and its Religious Publications in the Sixteenth Century', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 44, 1993, pp.11-25.)
This edition is particularly known for the three fold-out woodcut illustrations, which are the largest woodcuts in any early English book. Their absence (in the Cambridge University and British Library copies, as here) led Hodnett to speculate if they might be additions; he concluded that they are most probably integral to the edition. STC 3278.