Two vols. in one, 8vo., pp. , x, , 288, ; , 312, , with a frontispiece to each volume and twenty-three other leaves of plates depicting inscriptions and carvings on ancient monuments, all mounted in accordance with the instructions to the binder: ‘The Bookbinder is desir’d to paste the Cuts (which are the original [12mo.] ones, engraven at Paris), upon an Octavo Leaf, the Size of this Work’; a fine copy in contemporary mottled calf, somewhat rubbed, spine gilt, red morocco label; the Macclesfield copy.
US $1405 €1141
First edition in English of Histoire du ciel consideré selon les idées des poëts, des philosophes, et de Moïse (Paris, 1739).
Noël-Antoine Pluche, a controversial professor of rhetoric at Rheims, became tutor in physics to, among others, the Earl of Stafford’s son. His most famous work, Spectacle de la nature (1732), was immensely popular but brought him ridicule in Voltaire’s Candide for its philosophical optimism. Here, he attempts to make modern science conform with the teachings of Genesis. ‘La première partie est presque une mythologie complète, fondée sur des idées neuves, mais simples et ingénieuses; la seconde partie est l’histoire des idées philosophiques sur la formation du monde’ (Nouvelle bibliographie générale); there is an extended discussion of ‘The world of Newton’ (II, 189-224).
The translator, John Baptist de Freval was a friend of Samuel Richardson; his letter in praise of ‘the high-meriting tho’ low-descended’ Pamela prefaced Richardson’s novel, which was in the press at the same time as this work.
Sale 266; Wallis, Newton and Newtoniana, 403.287.
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PLATES BY HOLLAR [HOLLAR.]
The Office of the Holy Week according to the Missall and Roman Breviary. Translated out of French with a new and ample Explanation taken out of the Holy Fathers, of the Mysteries, Ceremonies, Gospels, Lessons, Psalms, and of all that belongs to his Office. Enricht with many Figures.
First edition of the French Catholic liturgy in English for the two weeks from Palm Sunday to Quasimodo or Low Sunday, translated and with a dedication and explanatory footnotes by Sir Walter Kirkham Blount.
MARINI, Giovanni Ambrogio.
The Desperadoes; an heroick History. Translated from the Italian of the celebrated Marini (the Original having passed ten Editions.) Containing a Series of the most surprizing Adventures of the Princes Formidaur and Florian … In four Books. Embellish’d with eight excellent Copper-Plates.
First and only edition in English of Le gare de’ disperati (1644), the second of three romances by Marini (1596-1668). Inevitably, ‘It was necessary to omit many Things that were contrary to our Morals; to Decency, and to the Purity of the English Tongue …’. But the general scheme of events is the same as the original, and is outlined on the title-page: ‘A Series of the most surprizing Adventures of the Princes Formidaur and Florian; the former being in love with Zelinda, whom he takes to be his own Sister; and the latter having married Fidalme, who he supposes to be his father’s Daughter by a second Wife, and afterwards kills in Disguise in single Combat. With a Relation of the various amazing Accidents, and Misfortunes, which happen thereon, until the Whole concludes with making them all happy, by a most extraordinary and uncommon Revolution.’