THOMAS, William. The historie of Italie. London: Thomas Berthelet, 1549.
4°. Title within architectural border, black letter, shoulder notes, woodcut foliate initials. (Without blank T4 and lacking Iii2-3, supplied in 17th-century manuscript, some light spottng, light dampstain at hinge of several quires, short tear in first 2 leaves, occasional small stains.) Contemporary English calf blind-stamped with large arabesque panel, possibly a remboitage (rebacked, scuffs repaired, later endleaves). Provenance: numerous contemporary pen trials and inscriptions, including the names George Herbert, Sir William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, and William Pole.
FIRST EDITION of the first work in English devoted entirely to Italy. The chief cities described and discussed are Rome, Naples, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Mantua, Ferrara, Parma and Urbino. Thomas was an Italian scholar and clerk of the council to Edward VI who, after spending 5 years travelling throughout Italy returned and published the result of his studies of the country as The History of Italy. After his execution in 1554 for his part in Thomas Wyatt's conspiracy, this work was reputedly suppressed and publicly burnt (DNB). STC 24018.