17 November 2004
MONTAIGNE, Michel Eyquem de (1533-1592). The Essayes; or, Morall, politike and militarie discourses. Translated by John Florio. [London: Val. Sims for Edward Blount, 1603].
3 parts in one volume, 2° (274 x 183mm). Separate title to each part. First word of the title is xylographic, woodcut ornaments and initials. With correction slip on B1r, and the rare leaves, \Kp\k1-2. 19th-century calf preserving central panel of an earlier binding, the panel with gilt arabesque and ownership initials 'W L' in gilt (rebacked, preserving old spine), red morocco-backed box.
AN INTERNALLY FINE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. One of the classics of Elizabethan translation, Florio's Montaigne was also one of the source books for Shakespeare, possibly circulating in manuscript for some years before its actual publication. Grolier Langland to Wither 102; Pforzheimer 378: 'it is generally accepted that Shakespeare used Florio's translation when writing the passage on a natural commonwealth in the Tempest'; STC 18041.
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