SPEED, John.

England Wales Scotland and Ireland Described and Abridged.

With ye historic relation of things worthy memory from a farr larger voulume.

[London: J. Dawson] sould by Georg Humble, 1627 Stock Code: 115052
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Second miniature edition of Speed's atlas of Great Britain and Ireland, following the edition of 1620, and showing the mapped landscape of Britain as it would have been known to Shakespeare.

The "farr larger Voulume Done by John Speed" is a reference to the famous Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine (1611), issued in folio. Thomas Chubb explains that for the first miniature edition of 1620 "forty of the maps are reprints of Peter Keer's maps of 1599 issued at Amsterdam in 1617 for William Camden's Viri clarissimi Britannia. Sixteen are newly engraved maps of some of the English counties which, in the earlier editions of 1599 and 1617, were grouped together, seven are additional maps". The publisher George Humble was "granted a privilege to print the Theatre for twenty-one years from 1608 Speed's Theatre and History of Great Britain were an immediate success: three new editions and issues of each appeared during Speed's lifetime, and a miniature version was first published about 1619-20" (ODNB).

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Landscape octavo (107 x 162 mm). Recently bound using old vellum, tawed leather ties. Housed in a black cloth flat-back box by the Chelsea Bindery.


Engraved decorative title, engraved "Catalogue of all the Shires", 63 maps (complete, 2 folding).


A few marginal annotations in a 17th-century hand; neat restorations to title, map of Northumberland and last leaf, paper flaw at fore margin of O4, a couple of maps shaved, 3 with early hand-colour (Sussex, Dorset, Essex), a couple of leaves a little ragged at fore edge, a few old pale marginal stains, yet a very good copy, with decent margins and strong impressions of the maps.


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