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Christian Policie: or, The Christian Common-Wealth.

Published for the good of kings, and princes, and such as are in authoritie under them, and trusted with state affaires: as also for all true hearted subjects. Written in Spanish, and translated into English.

London: printed by Thomas Harper, for Richard Collins, and are to be sold at his shop, 1632 Stock Code: 81871
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A mirror for Spanish princes to reform the English court

First edition in English; rare. The translation is actually by the Hispanophile James Mabbe, though Edward Blount, as was his habit, signs the dedication as if he were its translator. (A variant issue of the same year has Blount's name instead of Richard Collins's in the imprint: the two booksellers were close neighbours in St Paul's Churchyard.) Edward Blount Blunt (bap. 1562, d. in or before 1632) is best known to posterity as the chief publisher of the first Shakespeare folio (with commendatory verses by his friends Mabbe and Leonard Digges). In other respects too, he was the most important English publisher of the early 17th century. He was a remarkably secular bookseller - he rarely published sermons, for example, popular and profitable though they were - and his list shows a decidedly international bent, with European histories and European travel books; dictionaries of Italian, Spanish, and Latin; and works translated out of French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Greek, Latin, and neo-Latin. He also developed relationships with English ambassadors abroad, like Sir Dudley Carleton, ambassador to Venice and The Hague, and involved himself in the Italian art trade, as well as dealing in currencies, cloth, seeds, and foodstuffs. He was a regular correspondent of William Trumbull, English agent in Brussels, and a close friend of his fellow stationer John Bill, Sir Thomas Bodley's agent in acquiring books printed abroad.

A relatively late entry in the genre, Juan de Santa María's manual of advice to princes, República y policía christiana (first published in Madrid, 1615), was of particular interest in England at this time, as Charles I had set about reforming court manners on the Spanish model. Though no relation to the publisher, the supralibros is likely that of Sir Thomas Pope Blount (1556-1639) of Tittenhanger, Hertfordshire, whose well-travelled son, Sir Henry, was the author of A Voyage into the Levant (1636). Sir Henry was a supporter of Charles I; he attended the king at York and took part in the battle of Edgehill, supposedly being entrusted after it with the care of the young princes, the future James II and Charles II.

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Quarto (212 x 168 mm). Contemporary limp vellum, yapp edges, tawed skin ties (all but one broken), both covers with gilt initials "Sr T B" as supralibros.


Complete with first and last blank leaves; in this issue, the title is a cancel.


A little dampstaining to final quire and rear cover, else a very good, fresh copy with ample margins.


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