Small folio, pp. , 399, , wanting the preliminary blank, small hole to M4 affecting three letters, a few marginal repairs without loss; a very good copy in full red morocco, gilt, by Zaehnsdorf, joints slightly rubbed.
US $1511 €1442
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Psyche: or Loves Mysterie in XX. Canto’s: displaying the Intercourse between Christ and the Soule …
First edition. Beaumont was one of the royalist fellows ejected from Cambridge in 1644, and he devoted his enforced retirement to the composition of this poem, a ‘religious epic’ representing ‘a Soule led by divine Grace, and her Guardian Angel ... through the difficult Temptations and Assaults of Lust, of Pride, of Heresie, of Persecution, and of Spiritual Dereliction ... to heavenly Felicitie.’ The result, some 30,000 lines in six-line stanzas, is by far the longest work of the ‘English Spenserians’ of the seventeenth century (Drayton, Wither, Henry More, Giles and Phineas Fletcher), although Beaumont’s stylistic affinities lie more with Donne and with his fellow student at Peterhouse, Richard Crashaw.
When a second edition was published in 1702 ‘much enlarged in every canto by the late Reverend Author’, the first edition was described as ‘very scarce and very dear’, which is difficult to believe.
Wing B 1625; Hayward 96.
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First edition of this rare utopian voyage written by a woman for a readership of women.
UNEXPECTED INFLUENCE OF HOBBES GRAILE, John.
Three Sermons preached at the Cathedral in Norwich. And a fourth at a parochial Church in Norfolk. Humbly recommending, I. True Reformation of our Selves. II. Pious Reverence towards God and the King. III. Just Abhorrence of usurping Republicans, and IV. Due Affection to the Monarchy.
First and only edition, rare. The third of these four sermons was delivered on the anniversary of Charles I’s execution, 30 January 1684, drawing on the Proverb: ‘For the transgression of a land, many are the princes there’, in which the plurality of leaders is shown to be the ‘constant mischief’ of republicanism. Graile draws on Hobbes’s Leviathan in his treatment of the state, which without a single sovereign is a diseased and wounded body, the ‘body politick’ of which King Charles was ‘the very soul’, and which had been given over to ‘the very multitude and general crowd, in the whole body of the people: the head and the feet, the brains and the heels, the honourable, the wise, the sober, and all the base and blind and boisterous rabble, having their share in the government’. Condemning the recent Rye House Plot, Graile warns of fresh attempts at ‘dissolving the ligaments of the monarchy’. The clerical use of such obviously Hobbesian metaphors is doubly interesting: firstly for the ambiguity of Leviathan – the dual monarchism and anti-Church, ‘atheistic’ stance for which it had so recently being condemned, Oxford University having burned Leviathan in the quadrangle in 1683 – and secondly for the extreme difficulty of procuring a copy in the 1680s, when the second-hand price had risen to thirty shillings (Parkin, “The Reception of Hobbes’s Leviathan” in The Cambridge Companion to Leviathan, 2007, pp. 449-452).