Dives and Pauper. Westminster: Wynkyn de Worde, 3 December 1496.
Chancery 2° (240 x 171mm). Collation: A6 B4 a-x8 y-z6 \\i6 (A1r title with woodcut, A1v woodcut, A2r preface, B4v woodcut, a1r chapter one, \\i5v colophon and device, \\i6r woodcut, \\i6v woodcut). 178 leaves (of 196, lacking A6 B4, a8, b2,3, o2, \\i1, 3, 4 and 6). 40 lines and headline, double column. Type: Duff 4:95 textura, 6:135 textura. Large printer's device (McKerrow 1b), woodcut lombard initials. (Lacking the five woodcuts from 3 blocks [Hodnett 464, 800, 463], a2 fore-margin renewed, o7, z6 remargined with slight loss, \\i3,5 remargined with loss partly supplied in facsimile, tear into text without loss in 4 leaves and with slight loss in p3, tear in e8 with loss of a few words, several headlines just shaved, marginal repairs in 11 leaves, some soiling and staining.) 19th-century diced russia, spine lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, signed by J. Clarke (extremities scuffed). Provenance: [G. Fielding, sale Sotheby's, 11 May 1953, lot 134, £180 to Maggs].
SECOND EDITION of a dialogue between Pauper, a well-read preacher, and Dives, an educated layman. As a popular exposition the practical application of the Ten Commandments, its scope exceeds theology and touches on politics and society, warfare, astrology, and folklore. It is a rich source for the beliefs of medieval Christians, and was even considered heretical by some of its contemporary readership. When Robert Bert of Bury-St-Edmunds was accused of heresy in 1430, one of the charges against him was his ownership of a copy of Dives and Pauper, probably because some of its arguments fitted Lollard teaching. (cf. EETS edition by P. Barnum, 1976-80; and M. Aston, Lollards and Reformers). Although attributed to Henry Parker (fl.1454-64) since John Bale's time, it has since been shown to have been written a generation earlier than Parker, c. 1405-1410. Only 8 manuscripts, including the printer's copy for the first edition printed by Pynson in 1493 (M.L. Ford, 'Author's Autograph and Printer's Copy,' Incunabula, ed. M. Davies, London: 1999, pp. 109-128, no.23), and a few fragments survive. See R.H. Pfander, The Library, 4th series, 14, 1933-34, pp.299-312; and H.G. Richardson, idib. 15, 1935, pp.31-38. HC 6110; Duff 340; STC 19213; Goff P-118.