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WORKES OF SIR THOMAS MORE KNYGHT, sometyme Lorde Chauncellour of England, wrytten by him in the englysh tonge.

More Thomas

Published by London At the costes and charges of Iohn Cawod, Iohn Waly, and Richarde Tottell 1557, 1557
From Buddenbrooks, Inc. (Newburyport, MA, U.S.A.)

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First Edition, A COPY WITH FINE PROVENANCE. THE CHATSWORTH COPY. Black letter, double columns. Title within woodcut border (McKerrow and Ferguson 81), decorative and historiated woodcut initials. Folio (10 3/4 x 7 1/2 inches; 274 x 191 mm.), finely bound in 18th century antique contrasting sprinkled calf, the tan covers with double gilt fillet borders and gilt tooled floral pieces at the corners. The rich dark spine with six raised bands handsomely gilt tooled and separating compartments filled with highly accomplished gilt bordered panels enclosing floral devices at the centers, corners and borders of the panels, one compartment handsomely lettered in gilt, one compartment with royal crown in gilt, the head and foot of the spine richly gilt tooled, marbled end-leaves, Chatsworth ownership label and coat of arms at the pastedown. [36], 88 pp., cols. 89-104, pp. 105-1138-1458. A wonderful copy; clean and wide-margined. An exceptionally handsome and impressive copy of a scarce book, especially well preserved, the hinges sometime expertly and attractively strengthened and restored. VERY RARE. Thomas More s English works were collected from his manuscripts by his nephew William Rastell, and were first published together in the present edition of 1557, dedicated by Rastell to Queen Mary. The collection includes his most controversial works (such as "A dyalogue of Syr Thomas More, knt.") directed against Tyndale, Luther, and their followers, together with previously unpublished works written while More was imprisoned in the Tower prior to his execution. The "Dyalogue" was first controversial book in English and is presented as a dialogue taking place in More s library at Chelsea, between him and a young university student who was attracted to Lutheran doctrine as expounded by Tyndale. "It is in four books. The first two defend the theory and practice of catholicism, the third denounces Tindal s translation of the New Testament as heretical, the fourth is a personal attack on Luther" (DNB). Also included here is More s most moving English work "Adyalogue of comforte agaynste tribulacyon". This was one of the works written in the earliest days of More s imprisonment, following his refusal to condone Henry VIII s divorce from Queen Catherine or to take any oath that should be to the detriment of papal authority. It is a highly ascetic work, written for the comfort of More s own family, advocating prayer and faith in times of persecution and with its authorship wisely obscured by the claim that it was "made by an Hungarien in laten, and translated out of laten into frenche, and out of frenche in English." "The work of gathering, arranging in chronological order, and of adding the valuable marginal notes was all done by [William] Rastell, More's nephew, while an exile in Louvain during Edward's reign" (Pforzheimer). The collection is described by R.W. Chambers in his study of Sir Thomas More as "this magnificent folio." Chambers notes that this edition preserves for us a great deal which would otherwise have been lost, including a number of English poems written by More in his youth; a correct text of "The history of King Richard the thirde," from a copy in More s own hand (the version "in Hardynges Cronicle, and in Hallys Cronicle," as Rastell complained, being "very muche corrupte in many places.and altered in wordes and whole sentences"); an unfinished Treatise "uppon these words of Holy Scripture, Memorare novissima et in eternum non peccabis, " dated in 1522, and dealing with reflections on death; and several devotional works written by More while imprisoned in the Tower. Rastell also preserved the letters written just before More s death to his family and friends. The work was published during the reign of Catholic Queen Mary and dedicated to her by Rastell. The table of contents precedes an index by Thomas Paynell. Bookseller Inventory # 26513

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: London At the costes and charges of Iohn Cawod, Iohn Waly, and Richarde Tottell 1557

Publication Date: 1557

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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