HOLINSHED, Raphael (d. ca. 1580). The Firste [-Laste] volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande. London: [Henry Bynneman] for Lucas Harrison (Volume I, Part I); John Hunne (Volume I, Part III); John Harrison (Volume I, Part II and Volume II), 1577.
2 volumes, 2o (276 x 196 mm). Gothic type, double column. Four title-pages within woodcut border (McKerrow & Ferguson 147a), woodcut printer's device (McKerrow 118), author's woodcut arms on versos of titles, numerous woodcuts in the text, many repeated, double-page woodcut of the Siege of Edinburgh bound in after Yyyy6 in vol. 2, historiated initials. The two-leaf Table to both parts bound in vol. II (instead of Vol. I as in Pforzheimer). Complete, with blank leaf *b*6 and all errata leaves. This copy with vol. I, 3E6-8 (in the Historie of Irelande) uncancelled, sheet 3F1.8 a cancel. Printed slip with the name "Richard Grafton" pasted on the verso of the list of "Authour's names" in vol. I [6v]. EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED with 30 engravings bound or tipped in to vol. II, mostly small portraits (some colored) but including one full-page engraving and one double-page genealogical woodcut of the sovereigns of England (torn and cropped). (Vol I title rehinged and with marginal repairs, wormhole to first 3 leaves and to second half of vol. I affecting a few catchwords, some cropping to shoulder notes, mainly in vol. II, marginal repairs and staining to first 3 leaves in vol. II, tear to II:Bbb4 with loss to about 5 words, hole in 4M8 affecting 2 words, double-page view of Edinburgh cropped, a few small tears or rust-holes, a few small stains.) Modern morocco antique, gilt edges. Provenance: Jacob C. Winsor (signature in vol. II); a few contemporary marginalia in vol. II, some underlines.
FIRST EDITION, COMPLETE, EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED COPY, of the principal Elizabethan chronicle. A universal history and cosmography complete with maps had been conceived ca. 1548 by Reginald Wolfe, who devoted 25 years to the compilation of the English, Scottish and Irish portions, still unfinished at his death in 1573. Holinshed, who had assisted Wolfe for a number of years, took over the project, reducing its scope to the British Isles, and abandoning the plan to publish maps, by now rendered unnecesssary by the preparation of Saxton's atlas. William Harrison and Richard Stanyhurst assisted him; part of the history of Ireland was based on a manuscript by Edmund Campion. The publishers were related by marriage to Wolfe. Shakespeare used the second edition as the principal source for a number of the historical plays and for Macbeth, King Lear, and Cymbeline. Pforzheimer 494; STC 13568.5. (2)