The Historie of Philip de Commines, Knight, Lord of Argenton [Translated by Thomas Danett]

The Historie of Philip de Commines, Knight, Lord of Argenton [Translated by Thomas Danett].

London: John Brill, 1614.

Third edition. Title page within large historiated woodcut border bearing the royal arms and motto ("Honi soit qui mal y pense" ), the crest of Burghley, and the printer's beehive device; several large inital woodcut capitals throughout, and genealogical table in rear. [16], 366 pp. Folio. Contemporary blind-ruled sheep, rebacked, endpapers renewed. Title-page browned, light staining to lower portion of text. STC 5604. Item #302485

Third edition in English of a primary source for 15th century European history. Commines has been called "the first critical and philosophical historian since classical times" (Oxford Companion to English Literature), principally for his shrewd and practical insight into the political realities of his day, his psychological insight, and his forthright account of the machinations of the politicians he described. His history is divided into 8 books, the first six of whith deal with the reign of Louis XI; the last two deal with the Italian wars of Charles VIII, ending with his death.
Thomas Danett's English translation was first published in 1596. In his dedication to Lord Burghley, dated 1 Nov. 1596, Danett states that thirty years before he presented Lord Burghley and "the late Earle of Leicester my Lord" his "historie of Commines, rudely translated into our vulgar toong," and that he later revised and enlarged his translation at the request of Sir Christopher Hatton. According to the DNB, Danett (fl. 1566-1601) was also the author of the following works: "1. The Description of the Low Countreys and of the Prouinces thereof, gathered into an Epitome out of the Historie of Lodouico Guicchardini,' London, 1593, dedicated to Lord Burghley. 2. A Continuation of the Historie of France from the death of Charles the Eight, where Comines endeth, till the death of Henry the Second [1559], collected by Thomas Danett, gentleman,' London, 1600, dedicated to Lord Buckhurst. ..."

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