London, South Kensington
16 November 2004
ELYOT, Thomas (1490?-1546). The Boke named the Gouernor, London: in the house of Thomas Berthelet, . 8° (141 x 90mm). Black letter, woodcut architectural border, dated 1534 [McKerrow & Ferguson 30], woodcut initials. Contemporary English calf, covers panelled in blind with central gilt fleuron and smaller gilt fleurons at outer corners, spine in five compartments with repeated fleuron, green tie remnant, contemporary vellum binding stubs from a small missal (chipped at head and foot of spine, wear to corners, front free endpaper and blank becoming detached). Provenance: Robert Garrett, purchased from Thomas Leyghton (inscription on front blank dated 156) -- John Dolphin (his inscriptions in four languages on front blank, dated 1559 and 1560) -- 'I have seen this book marked at 1.11.6 this year 1813' (inscription on loose wrapper around binding).
FIFTH EDITION, FINE COPY. Dedicated to Henry VIII, Elyot's celebrated book on the education of statemen was first published by Thomas Berthelet in 1531. Although it reached an eighth edition by 1580, the earlier editions are all rare on the market. Jackson describes the book as 'not only the earliest treatise on moral philosophy in English but the first of an imposing array which introduced into England the cultural and political ideals of the Renaissance.' Grolier Langland to Wither 94; STC 7639; cf. Pforzheimer 354.
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