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CAMDEN, William.

The History of the Most Renowned and Victorious Princess Elizabeth, late Queen of England;

containing all the most important and remarkable passages of state, both at home, and abroad (so far as they were linked with English affairs) during her long and prosperous reign. The third edition, revised and compared with the originall, whereby many gross faults are amended, severall periods before omitted are added in their due places, and the English phrase much altered, more consonant to the mind of the authour. With a new alphabetical index of all the principall things contained in the history.

London : 1675 Stock Code: 138758
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A handsome copy of Camden's biography of Queen Elizabeth I, first published in Latin as Annales Rerum Anglicarum et Hibernicarum Regnante Elizabetha in two volumes (1615 and 1625), and in English in 1625. The biography was commissioned from Camden, the greatest antiquary of his age, by Elizabeth's chief adviser William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, who provided him with "private papers of his own and 'Rolls, Memorials, and Records' from the queen's own archives" (ODNB). Camden was reticent, but persuaded, however he insisted that it should not be published in English in his lifetime "knowing how unjust capers the unlearned Readers are". The book was a "long-awaited success", not only containing "the material of international political intrigue, but it commemorated Elizabeth and her court at a time when literary tastes were enjoying a revival of things Elizabethan" (ibid). Many editions were published in the 17th century (this edition in fact the fifth), no doubt reflecting nostalgia for the Elizabethan age.
With the 18th-century bookplate to the front pastedown of the Earl of Hopetown. The first Earl of Hopetoun, Charles Hope, (1681-1742), built a substantial collection through purchasing much of the library of the Jesuits at Strasbourg. The library was eventually dispersed at auction in 1889 when the seventh earl took up the governorship of Victoria, with the collection including a copy of the Gutenberg Bible and the 1469 Virgil (De Ricci, English Collectors of Books and Manuscripts, p. 164).

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Folio (296 x 190 mm). Contemporary mottled calf, rebacked preserving original spine, red morocco label, spine gilt to compartments, large contemporary gilt monogram "DC" to covers, marbled endpapers.


Portrait frontispiece of Elizabeth, engraved by R. White.


Early ownership signature W. Danby to front free endpaper. Light wear around extremities, superficial split to hinges, title page with small repair at foot and minor stain at head, sporadic light foxing and soiling but contents generally crisp and clean, minor paper faults around a few page edges not affecting text, short closed tear to rear free endpaper. A very good copy.


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