DONNE, John (1572-1631). \KBiaqanatos\k. A Declaration of that Paradoxe, or thesis, that selfe-homicide is not so naturally sinne, that it may never be otherwise. London: John Dawson, .
4° (184 x 142mm). Type-ornament headpieces, ornamental initials. Contemporary calf, blind-ruled border, blue-green edges (a little light wear at extremities); modern brown half morocco slipcase. Provenance: correction in contemporary manuscript on p.217, line 1 -- John Marsham (1602-85), presented to him by the editor, John Donne, jr. (title inscription: 'Johannis Marsham ex dono Editoris 1647') -- purchased from James F. Drake, New York, 5 March, 1940, $100.
A FINE ASSOCIATION COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION. Donne himself had an ambivalent attitude to this, one of his earliest and most controversial works on a subject which his neurotic character had long found intriguing: suicide. While not willing to publish it, he did circulate a few copies in manuscript to close confidantes, in one case with the instruction: 'reserve it for me, if I live, and if I die, I only forbid it the Presse, and the Fire: publish it not, but burn it not'. It remained to Donne's son to have it printed after the death of his father. John Marsham, to whom Donne jr. presented this copy, is possibly the historian, said by Wotton to have been the first to make the Egyptian antiquities intelligible. Keynes records ten presentation copies, including the present one. Keynes, Donne, 47; Pforzheimer 292; Wing D-1858.