20 November 2002
ERASMUS, Desiderius (1466?-1536). [Apophthegmata in English]. Apophthegmes, that is to saie, prompte, quicke, wittie and sentencious saiynges .... Translated by Nicholas Udall (1505-1556). London: John Kingston, February-March, 1564.
8° (140 x 94mm). With blank **8 (but without final blank). Black letter with some roman and italic. Woodcut pedestal ornament on title repeated on **7r and colophon, 4- to 9-line woodcut decorative initials. (Rust mark on f6v slightly affecting two lines, x5 holed with slight loss to shoulder note on recto and two lines of text on verso, s8 with slight paper fault, some waterstaining of lower margins, a few lower corners restored.) 19th-century straight-grained maroon morocco, covers with blindstamped panel of crested acorns in 16th-century style, spine gilt lettered and decorated in blind, gilt edges. Provenance: John Besbiche (contemporary signature on colophon).
Second edition of this translation, first published by Richard Grafton in 1542. The title page and colophon vary. This copy has the first word of the title in italic rather than roman and 'Shoppe' rather than 'shoppe' in the colophon. A violent user of the cane while headmaster at Eton and later Winchester College, Udall is more happily remembered as the translator of Erasmus and author of Ralph Roister Doister, the first English comedy (first acted in 1552 and printed about 1556). Although Richard Taverner's The Garden of Wysdom and The second book of the Garden of Wysdome, both published in 1539, appeared before his translation of the third and fourth books of the Apophthegmata, they had a much looser basis in Erasmus's work. STC 10444.
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