([London: J. Okes], 1627). 184 x 142 mm. (7 1/4 x 5 3/8"). 39, 42-49,  pp. (complete). FIRST EDITION, variant issue (with "gainst . . . Norfolke" on p. 4).
19th century brown roan over early paper boards, raised bands, gilt titling. Front pastedown with bookplate of Robert S. Pirie and ink inscription of Ewen Cameron; occasional ink annotations in a contemporary hand; occasional pencilled annotations in a modern hand. STC 5864.2. One-inch abrasion to front cover, boards with mild staining, corners lightly bumped, faint dampstain to fore margin of about eight leaves; occasional slight foxing and browning, heavier on title and two other leaves, but a wide-margined copy with nothing approaching a serious defect.
This book demonstrates that sometimes being a great historian can be risky, as Cotton discovered when Charles I's court read this history of Henry III. Published without Cotton's consent, this tract describes how Henry had been misled by a corrupt advisor (although he was able to overcome him and rule wisely). Charles' chief advisor, the Duke of Buckingham, took this work as an implicit but direct attack and wanted Cotton punished. In his defense, Cotton (1517-1631) claimed that he had composed it in 1614 for James I as a warning against the monarch's over-reliance on his advisor, the Earl Somerset. This placated Charles for a time, but by 1629, Cotton was in trouble for another tract. This time, he was imprisoned briefly and allowed only limited access to his beloved and important library, an immense collection that included the Lindisfarne Gospels and two copies of the Magna Carta. Cotton's grandson John (d. 1702) bequeathed his elder's library to the nation, and it became part of the foundation collection for the British Museum. (CMH1817)
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