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ASHMOLE, Elias.

The Antiquities of Berkshire.

With A large Appendix of many Valuable Original Papers, Pedigrees of the most considerable Families in the said County, and a particular Account of the Castle, College, and Town of Windsor.

London, for W. Mears, and J. Hooke, 1723 Stock Code: 31731
£1,500.00

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Notes

Second edition of the first county history of Berkshire, originally published in 1719; a third edition was published at reading in 1736. The astrologer and antiquary Elias Ashmole (1617-1692) was appointed to the College of Arms as Windsor Herald of Arms in Ordinary in 1660. In 1667, he began collecting information for this book, but it was not to be published until after his death. Although well suited to the role and highly active in it, Ashmole resigned as Windsor herald in 1675, evidently disillusioned by factional strife within the college, and, despite pressure from many in high places, refused to take heraldic office of any kind thereafter. Sir Walter Scott used Ashmole's lengthy account of the murder of Amy Robsart, the Earl of Leicester's secret wife, as the primary source for his Elizabethan novel Kenilworth.

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Description

3 volumes, octavo. Contemporary sprinkled calf, dark green morocco numbering and lettering pieces, gilt rules, covers panelled in gilt, red sprinkled edges.

Illustrations

Large folding county map incorporating view of Windsor Castle as frontispiece, the map coloured in outline; genealogical tables in text, of which 11 are folding; engraved vignette on vol. III, Zz1 recto; woodcut title vignettes and tailpieces.

Condition

Bookplates of Joshua Smith MP, Stoke Park, Erlestoke, Wiltshire; later library shelfmarks on front pastedowns. A little skilful repair to extremities, an excellent set.

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