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De contemptu mortis libri IV.

Ad nobilissimum amplissimumque virum Ianvm Rutgersium.

Leiden: Ex Officinâ Elzeviriana, 1621 Stock Code: 137321
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First edition of the noted Dutch scholar Daniel Heinsius's (1580-1655) last major work of poetry, a didactic espousal of a stoical contempt for, rather than fear of, death. Willems writes that in its time the poem enjoyed a great vogue, and it was translated into Dutch by Jacques van Zevecote. A classical scholar of great renown (he was a professor at Leiden University), Heinsius also worked on the text of the Elzevirs' edition of the Greek New Testament, published a few years later. This volume is from the Elzevirian collection of the polymath Edward Heron-Allen, with his bookplate to the front free endpaper. Heron-Allen is best remembered for his translation of the works of Omar Khayyam, a much more literal rendering than Edward Fitzgerald's great, yet loose, translation.

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Duodecimo (134 x 80 mm). 18th-century red morocco, black calf label, spine gilt to compartments with floral tools, covers panelled in gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges.


With the 20th-century bookplate of Robert J. Hayhurst, Lancashire, retail chemist and discerning bibliophile, to front pastedown. Minor 19th-century jottings to front free endpaper verso and facing blank, early inscription to title page in Dutch, numerous 17th or 18th-century manicules in the margins, note of date 27 March 1770 to final page. Very minor rubbing at extremities yet binding otherwise in excellent condition, title page a little soiled, slight creasing to first few pages, contents slightly toned, tiny chip with loss to pagination pp. 57/58. An attractive copy.


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