The Life of Mr. George Herbert … To which are added some Letters written by Mr. George Herbert, at his being in Cambridge: with Others to his Mother the Lady Magdalen Herbert: written by John Donne …

London: Printed by Tho: Newcomb, for Rich: Marriott, sold by most Booksellers. 1670.

8vo., pp. 146, [2], with an engraved portrait of Herbert (A1v); the title-page is a cancel on a stub; a very good copy in early nineteenth century polished calf by Charles Smith (rebacked) for George Daniel, with his purchase note (‘Bought of Thorpe 1843’) and a few other inscriptions (‘exquisite impression of the portrait’ etc), traces of old booklabels removed from endpapers.


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First edition, second issue, with a cancel title-page adding mention of the Letters. There are four letters from Donne, one including a sonnet, and a poem at the end by Crashaw. The life, ‘a tissue of paraphrase and quotation, more Herbert than Walton’ (Oxford DNB), would also appear later in the year in the first collection of Walton’s Lives, along with those of Donne, Wotton and Hooker.

Daniel (1789-1864) was a writer and collector of English literature and drama (he owned all four Shakespeare folios and a number of quartos), whose library was sold over ten days in 1864, the books fetching over £14,000. This was lot 1730. Daniel noted that this Life was ‘an uncommon book’, and it is still so.

Wing W 669; Keynes, Donne, 60; Pforzheimer 1055.

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