POPE, Alexander (1688-1744) -- BIBLE, in Greek. Novum Testamentum, in Greek. Cambridge: Thomas Buck, 1632.
8° (181 x 114mm). 'Engraved' title and first leaf of text in expert facsimile in red-brown ink, the title signed J. Thomason, supplied probably at the time of binding and ?presentation, additional engraved title (unsigned, printed possibly later?) loosely inserted. Early 18th-century red morocco gilt, central scroll lozenge and border composed of small tools, marbled endpapers, gilt edges (hinges very lightly worn); modern red morocco-backed solander box. Provenance: Henry St. John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke (presented in 1728 to:) -- Alexander Pope (inscription on front free endpaper in Pope's hand: 'V.I. Henrici St. John, Vice-Coms. de Bolingbroke, Donum Alexandro Pope, 1728') -- Richard Heber (1773-1833, stamp; sale Sotheby's, 5 May 1834, lot 5836, £5.7.6, the supplied leaves described) -- Fitzjames Watt (stamp) -- Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery (Durdans house stamp, bookplate, Durdans library sale, Sotheby's 27 June 1933, lot 347A, £25 to Scheuer) -- purchased from James F. Drake, New York.
POPE'S COPY of the first Cambridge printing of the New Testament in Greek, given to him by Viscount Bolingbroke in the year The Beggar's Opera was staged and the Dunciad first published. An ousted Tory minister in 1714, Bolingbroke fled to France and briefly acted as Secretary of State to the Pretender, but receiving the royal pardon in 1723, he resettled in England in 1725, purchasing Dawley Manor, near Uxbridge in Middlesex, which he re-named Dawley Farm. 'Frequent visits between Twickenham and Dawley (the two 'villas' were only four miles apart) whetted Pope's interest in philosophic studies of the sort his friend had undertaken in France and was now continuing at his English farm' (Mack, Alexander Pope, p. 511), eventually leading to the composition of the Essay on Man (1730-32; published 1733-34). So in thrall was he with his noble friend that Pope commissioned a portrait of Bolingbroke to be painted by Jonathan Richardson. The present volume is no. 20 in Mack's list of Pope's books (Collected in Himself, appendix A), known to Mack only through the 1933 sale catalogue, and is unusual in being dated. It is also an unexpected gift from a declared deist. This edition of the Greek New Testament was printed with Sir Henry Savile's 'silver type', borrowed from Oxford. STC 2796; D&M 4678.