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INSCRIBED PRESENTATION COPY

The Lives of Dr. John Donne, Sir Henry Wotton, Mr. Richard Hooker, Mr. George Herbert.

London: Tho. Newcomb for Richard Marriott, 1670.

Price: $7,500.00


About the item

First collected edition. With four engraved portraits, general title page, separate title-pages for Wotton, Hooker, Herbert; Herbert's letters with continuous register and pagination. 1 vols. 8vo. INSCRIBED PRESENTATION COPY. Eighteenth-century speckled calf gilt, boards with gilt roll border, all edges red. Superbly rebacked to period style. Fine copy. Custom solander box. Wing W671; ESTC 15317; Rowfant Library p. 127; Pforzheimer 1056; Wither to Prior 955; Coigney p. 386. Provenance: Thomas Amyot (signature on front pastedown; Frederick Locker Lampson (1821-1895), his bookplates; John Gribbel (1858-1936), his bookplate.

Item #368604

“This collection of biographies is one of the most celebrated in the English language” — Pforzheimer catalogue.

Presentation copy inscribed above Donne's portrait: “for Sr John Robinson Iz: Wa:”

Walton has altered a word at the end of the printed dedication, and the second part of the signature in type at the end of the Elegy on John Donne has been corrected in ink to read “Wa”; he also made several corrections in the text (e.g., adding the word “namely” at p. 3.42) in addition to many of the corrections noted in the printed errata.

Sir John Robinson (d. 1680), was a London merchant and financier, with strong royalist ties. He was appointed lieutenant of the Tower in June 1660, “a position vital to the maintenance of order in the City. In 1662/3 he served as lord mayor of London. During the 1660s and 1670s he was one of the principal means by which the government sought to influence City politics. His position, both in the City and at the Tower, impelled him into political controversy … Samuel Pepys regarded him as boastful and empty-headed; but his bombast must have concealed political shrewdness and commercial acumen” (ODNB).

Attractive copy of a landmark of English literature, with distinguished provenance: Frederick Locker Lampson (1821-1895) was a poet and a Victorian collector whose vision of selectively acquiring superior copies has continued to influence private collecting habits and institutional practice. John Gribbel was a celebrated Philadelphia industrialist, a stakeholder in the Curtis Publishing Co., and a significant collector whose books were dispersed in sales at Parke Bernet in 1940 and 1941.