POPE, Alexander (1688-1744) and Jonathan SWIFT (1667-1745) -- [CROTUS RUBIANUS, Joannes (ca. 1480-1539) and others]. Epistolae obscurorum virorum ad Dn. M. Ortuinum Gratium. Nova ... editio. Frankfurt: 1643.
12° (125 x 76mm). (Some waterstains, L1 with piece torn from outer margin.) Contemporary calf with red morocco lettering-piece (joints cracked, upper cover almost detached, corners worn, front free endpaper and front blank [with signatures] becoming loose), morocco slipcase by Zaehnsdorf. Provenance: Thomas Monson (recto of front blank inscribed 'Ex libris Tho: Monson') -- Alexander Pope (recto of the same blank inscribed in Pope's hand 'nunc Alex. Pope') -- Jonathan Swift (recto of the same blank inscribed 'nunc Jonath: Swift' though not certainly in Swift's hand; erasure at head of blank and of 1½ lines between the ownership marks of Pope and Swift) -- no. 259 in Swift's 1715 library catalogue -- lot 185 in the Sale Catalogue of Swift's Library, Dublin, 3 February 1746, purchased by: -- Edward Lisle (signed inscription on verso of the same blank: 'See ye Character of this Book in ye 197 Tatler / bought this at Dean Swift's auction') -- Charles B. Foote (bookplate) -- sold Anderson Galleries, New York, 17 February 1919, lot 953, for $575 (£115) -- John Gribbel (bookplate), sold Parke-Bernet, 17 April 1945, lot 302.
POPE AND SWIFT'S COPY OF THIS CELEBRATED GERMAN SATIRE, first published in 1515 (expanded in 1516). The work is addressed to O. Gratius, a prominent supporter of J. Pfefferkorn in his attacks on J. Reuchlin. The letters purport to be written by admirers of Gratius and Pfefferkorn, but are intentionally couched in barbarous language, and were in fact composed by Reuchlin's supporter, Crotus Rubeanus, with the aim of making Reuchlin's persecutors appear ridiculous. A second part of the Epistolae was mainly the work of Ulrich von Hutten. The title alludes to the Epistolae clarorum virorum (1514), published by Reuchlin. This copy possesses a UNIQUE DOUBLE ASSOCIATION, linking the names of the two friends who were both such masters of satire in their own time. Lefanu p. 17, not traced after 1919; Mack 61, not traced after the Gribbel sale.