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GALILEI, Galileo; SALUSBURY, Thomas, trans.

Mathematical Collections and Translations:

The first Tome. In two parts.

London: printed by William Leybourn, 1661 Stock Code: 128763
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The Dialogo's first appearance in English

First edition in English of Galileo's Dialogo, the major work to be included in volume I, and the first vernacular translation in any language. The Systeme of the World, followed by the short but important Epistle to the Grand Dutchesse Mother concerning the Authority of Holy Scripture in Philosophical Controversies (known today as the Letter to Christina), was only the second work of Galileo's to be published in England. It preceded the Latin edition, published in London by Thomas Dicas, by two years and remained the only vernacular translation for two centuries. Apart from the two works by Galileo, Salusbury included seven other translations from Italian and Latin in volume I of his Collections. The second volume, including an extensive life of Galileo in part two, was published in 1665 but almost totally destroyed in the Great Fire of London. The Brereton-Macclesfield copy is apparently unique in containing both parts.

Provenance: Benjamin Robert Mulock (1829-1863), presented by to him by University College London in 1849 as a prize in mathematics, with their presentation bookplate and gilt supralibros to covers; Mulock was one of the earliest photographers of Brazil, and documented the construction of the Bahia and San Francisco railroad. The copy was subsequently sold at Sotheby's in 1969 where it was bought by Quaritch, and later entered the private collection of the art collectors Howard and Linda Knohl, with their Fox Pointe Collection bookplate.

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2 parts in 1 volume as issued, folio (338 x 219 mm). Nineteenth-century half calf, brown cloth sides with the emblem of University College London stamped in gilt, marbled endpapers.


With 4 folding plates, numerous printed diagrams and woodcut and copper engravings in text.


Bound without half-title and errata leaf. Minor rubbing to binding, trivial splits to first plate folds, tiny chip to PP1, XX1, HHH, XXX2 FFFF1, small chip to corner of MMM4, small burnhole to GGGG2, none of these affecting text. Stain in bottom corner of final section, with last few leaves a little frayed, creased and soiled. A well-preserved, crisp copy.


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