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The Gardyners Passetaunce (c. 1512). With notes on the two unique editions in Westminster Abbey Library by Howard M. Nixon.
The book contains notes on the two unique editions in Westminster Abbey Library, descriptions of the bindings in which they were preserved, and the other items found in these bindings by Howard M. Nixon. I t has an image of a bust of Henry VIII by Torrigiani as frontispiece, facsimiles of the Pynson edition in full and the existing fragments of the Goes edition, images of bindings and other fragments in the text.
The Gardyners Passetaunce is a propaganda poem promoting the newly formed Holy League which was proclaimed on 4 October 1511. It is a simplified version of a densely written Latin tract by James Whytstons which discusses the nature of a just war, the merit of fighting in defence of the Pope and compares Louis XIII of France to various tyrants and persecutors of religion.
Pynson, the king’s printer, published this ‘tabloid’ poetic version at the behest of King and Court to spread the propaganda to a wider less academic public. A second edition appeared, probably in the same year, printed by Goes and Watson. The poem is anonymous but Nixon’s essay on the poem’s history does provide all the available evidence on the subject and draws his conclusions.
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First edition of this angling classic, with excellent plates by the painter and etcher Howitt (1756/7-1823), depicting a variety of fish, as well as charming scenes of minnow-, fly-, pike- and float-fishing. A keen sportsman, hunter, rider and angler, Howitt became a professional artist when financial difficulties forced him to earn a living, exhibiting at the Royal Academy and illustrating many sporting and zoological books. His early work was influenced by his brother-in-law Thomas Rowlandson but he soon developed his own style, capturing rural sport with great fluidity and excitement.
IMAGINARY SOCIETY FOR STRONG LEATHER [ORDER OF CUIRASSIERS].
Patente de cuirassiers.
A very scarce and rather inexplicable handbill, supposedly a declaration by the grand master of the order of cuirassiers and of cuir fort, issued from the fictional city of Tanopolis and in the name of ‘l’Empereur Pataqu’est-ce’. The bill is presented to an estimable gentleman, whose name is blank, contracting him to convert ‘everything that comes out of his mouth’ into leather, i.e. all his expressions, and then in the future to employ two further cuirassiers of his stature. The curious stamp at the bottom left promises guerre a mort aux puristes; who the ‘purists’ are, and what the cuirassiers might have against them, is unclear. Possibly this is a satirical attack on tradesmen producing leather for the war effort, who were increasing their profits by diminishing the quality of their stock. Everything about the handbill speaks of deliberate obscurity: the emperor’s name (‘who-is-it?’), the stamp, the withheld name, and the curious use of the number 1234.