[SAINT ALBANS CHRONICLE] -- Chronicles of England. - Description of Britain. London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1515.
2° (270 x 191mm). Collation: Aa6 a-z6 \\i \\j6 aa6 bb8 A-C6 D4 (Aa1r full-page woodcut arms of England, Aa1v table, a1r Chronicles of England, bb7r colophon, De Worde device, bb8 blank, A1r title to Description of Britain and large woodcut, A1v table, text, D3v colophon and De Worde device, D4 blank). 187 leaves (of 192, lacking A2-5 and a6), numerous leaves supplied from another copy, possibly from an early date (Aa1.6, a1, b2-5, d6 g-k6, D1). 44 lines and headline, double column. Full-page arms of England, large woodcut of city in landscape, 24 woodcut illustrations, including one repeat and two partial repeats, 10 woodcut diagrams, two De Worde devices [McKerrow 1b and 19], ornamental and lombard initials. (Title with repaired tears just into woodcut, repaired tear in e6 with loss of several letters, some soiling and staining, marginal repairs in 9 leaves, marginal tears in 2 leaves, small hole affecting a few letters in \\j2, l1 fore-margin renewed just touching text, D3 lower margin renewed with loss of quire number, single small wormhole in the supplied leaves.) 18th-century calf (rebacked, scuffed). Provenance: Elizabeth Fitzwalter (inscription on bb7); contemporary and early annotations in several hands; William Charles de Meuron, 7th Earl Fitzwilliam (1872-1943, armorial bookplate).
Seventh edition, the third printed by De Worde. First printed by the St. Albans printer in 1485, the eponymous chronicle is an expansion of the Chronicles edited and printed by William Caxton in 1480. Like Caxton's edition, it is a continuation of the historical narrative known as the Brut, widely popular in both manuscript and print (see lot -- for a manuscript copy). Cf. Lister M. Matheson, 'Printer and Scribe: Caxton, the Polychronicon and the Brut, Speculum, 60, 1985, pp.593-614. Although ESTC appears to call for 6 leaves in the final quire, the present copy, the following lot, and the British Library copy appear to be complete with four leaves, of which the last is blank. STC 1000.5.