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QUARLES, Francis.

Emblems, Divine and Moral;

Together with Hieroglyphicks of the Life of Man.

London, printed for A. Bettesworth, J. Batley, and T. Combes, [& 6 others in London], 1723 Stock Code: 138863

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An attractive early 18th-century edition of Francis Quarles's Emblems, the most popular and frequently reprinted English emblem book since its original publication in 1634, here also including his second book, Hieroglyphikes, originally published 1638, "the most notable English version of the theme of the ages of man" (ODNB). Each emblem consists of a paraphrased passage of Scripture, followed by a passage from the Church Fathers and concluding with an epigram of four lines. The Emblems "proved a cultural achievement and a durable success. It brought to Protestant England, suitably adapted, the spiritual and emotional qualities of the Catholic meditation on pictures. It survived as a work of edification when the emblem tradition itself had declined and it played an important role in the Victorian emblematic revival. It has been found especially rewarding in recent studies of the interaction of word and image" (ibid.). Though derided by critics like Alexander Pope - who mocked the book in the Dunciad - the book was a bestseller well into the 19th century, with sixty editions or issues estimated by Karl Josef Höltgen in ODNB.

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Large duodecimo (162 x 94 mm). Contemporary speckled calf, unlettered, compartments and covers ruled in gilt.


With integral copper engravings throughout, after designs by William Marshall, Boetius à Bolswert, and others.


Contemporary ownership signature of William H. Davis to front free endpaper, repeated to p. 9. Very minor wear to tips, short splits at head of joints, occasional minor worming not affecting text or engravings, scattered light soiling, very faint staining at edge of final few leaves. A very good copy.


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