The Whole workes of... three worthy Martyrs,
and principall teachers of this Churche of England, collected and compiled in one Tome together, beying before scattered, & now in Print here exhibited to the Church. To the prayse of God, and profite of all good Christian Readers.London: Printed by John Daye, and are to be sold at his shop, 1573 Stock Code: 77878
NotesFirst edition, edited by the martyrologist John Foxe. Foxe had established his reputation as the leading chronicler of the English reformation with his first two editions of Acts and Monuments (Foxe's Book of Martyrs) in 1563 and 1570. In the latter he had promised that he would edit a collection of the works of William Tyndale, John Frith, and Robert Barnes; they would not be popularly published again until the Parker Society series of the mid-nineteenth century. "This book neatly combines two concerns that preoccupied Foxe for the remainder of his life. One of these concerns might be labelled apologetic: it was the desire to produce logical and theological arguments, buttressed by historical examples, which would induce Catholics and Jews to abandon their 'superstitions' and embrace the gospel. In his introduction Foxe also claims that the edition offered spiritual guidance to readers of all ages, advising young readers to study Frith, middle-aged readers Tyndale, and older readers Barnes" (ODNB). As befits the stature of Tyndale as a giant of the English Reformation, over half the book is given over to his writings.
The first two woodcuts illustrate the martyrdoms of Tyndale and Barnes, each previously used in the first and second editions of Foxe's Book of Martyrs: "The designs are unusually sophisticated for English work and suggest, particularly in the poses of the figures, the precedent of continental Mannerism" (Lubosky & Ingram). The third woodcut, on the last leaf verso, is an antipapal allegory of Christian justice, first used here, and again in the third, fourth and fifth editions of the Book of Martyrs in 1576, 1583 and 1596 respectively.
Folio (287 x 188 mm) in 3 parts (pts. 2 and 3 have separate title pages; the former begins new pagination; register is continuous). Eighteenth-century half calf, red morocco spine label, plain paper sides; cloth pull-off case.
Black letter and roman type in double column. Title and 2 sectional titles with repeated woodcut border (McKerrow & Ferguson 76), half page woodcut illustrations on A4 of pt. 1, and on first and last leaf of pt. 3, woodcut historiated and floriated initia
Extremities and joints expertly restored, 4 leaves with minor marginal repairs without loss of text, a very good copy.
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