3 March 2004
DONNE, John (1573-1631). Pseudo-Martyr. London: W. Stansby for Walter Burre, 1610.
4° (216 x 164mm). Fine ornamental initials and headpieces, type-rule border. Contemporary flexible vellum (partly detached from text block); modern brown half morocco slipcase. Provenance: Edward Blount (fl.1588-1632) and William Barrett (d.1624, purchase inscription for 5 shillings, 6 pence) -- John Walter of 'Clemtes farme' (early inscription) -- Lawrence Downes (mid 17th-century title inscription, with, in the margin, 'for Mr. White') -- Arthur Hugh Smith Barry, of Marbury Hall (19th-century armorial bookplate and shelf-label) -- purchased from Scribners, New York, 20 August 1941, $175.
A FINE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION OF DONNE'S FIRST PUBLISHED WORK. It was originally owned by Edward Blount and William Barret, printers of London. Blount was one of the printers of the First Folio of Shakespeare, he and Barrett were in partnership from 1608-1613. In 1612 they published the first English edition of Don Quixote, printed by William Stansby, printer of the present edition of Pseudo-Martyr. Donne's work concerns the question of the King's supremacy and argues for Catholics to take the Oath of Allegiance. The 'pseudo-martyrs' of the title are Catholic recusants whose refusal to recognise their sovereign brought its own punishment. Grolier, Wither to Prior, 276; Keynes, Donne, 1; Pforzheimer 298; STC 7048.
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