11 - 13 July 2000
ERASMSUS, Desiderius (1466?-1536). [Apophthegmata]. Apophthegmes, that is to saie, prompte, quicke, wittie and sentencious sayinges. Translated from Latin by Nicholas Udall (1505-1556). London: Richard Grafton, 1542.
8° (143 x 95mm). Black letter, with some italic. Grafton's woodcut device on title and colophon [McKerrow 91 and 88]. Woodcut initials. (Some waterstaining, mainly at margins, occasional browning or soiling of margins, without final blank.) 19th-century calf, panelled in blind, spine lettered and dated in gilt, marbled endpapers, red speckled edges (spine restored). Provenance: Wm. Chester (contemporary signature on title).
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. Udall's translation was of the third and fourth books of Erasmus's Apophthegmata. Although Richard Taverner's The Flowers of Sencies Englished (London, 1540) is traditionally listed as selections from the Apophthegmata, STC states that 'this is actually from a different Erasmian collection: Aliquot sententiae insignes.' Udall was headmaster of Eton and, near the end of his life, Winchester College, and besides his violence with the cane is remembered as the author of Ralph Roister Doister, the first English comedy (performed about 1552 and printed about 1556). STC 10443.
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