(Oxford: Printed [at the Oxford University Press by Frederick Hall] for Presentation to the Members of the Roxburghe Club, 1925). 292 x 229 mm. (11 1/2 x 9"). xxx pp.,  leaf, 173,  pp.Introduction by Godfrey Davies. Apparently the FIRST EDITION.
Original Roxburghe binding of maroon half morocco over red textured cloth boards, flat spine with titling in gilt, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed. One facsimile manuscript plate. Presentation card reading "With the Earl of Derby's compliments" laid in at front. Title page, dedication, and membership list printed in red and black. This copy originally prepared for Sydney Richardson Christie-Miller (his name printed in red in the Roxburghe list as a way of indicating this). Endpapers with a hint of foxing, but A VIRTUALLY PRISTINE COPY.
The ultra-exclusive Roxburghe Club takes its name from the celebrated bibliophile John Ker, third duke of Roxburghe (1740-1804), who put together an unprecedented collection of some 10,000 items, the majority being early books, especially works printed by Caxton. In 1812, during the evening of the day those books were dispersed at auction, the most distinguished of the patrician bibliophiles in attendance at the sale dined together in St. Albans Street. No doubt stirred to a special fervor as a result of the auction (Valdarfer's 1471 edition of Boccaccio, for which Roxburghe paid £100, had sold for the astronomical sum of £2,260), the 18 assembled collectors founded the Roxburghe Club, which ever after has counted among its membership a small elite of bibliophiles. Written during the period of James' exile after his conversion to Roman Catholicism, the present volume contains loosely connected papers by the king giving his thoughts on religion, the text taken from an original manuscript and printed here for the first time. Although the piety he expresses did not always govern his personal behavior, the king is obviously sincere in his reflections, and although he had the reputation for being endowed with less than a superfluity of intellectual prowess, the writing here shows that he had thought deeply about his life and faith. As some indication of the limitation of the press run here, the membership roll at the front of this work lists 40 members of the Roxburghe Club, with the Earl of Derby, who prepared this work for the group, listed 11th. There could not be a copy anywhere in finer condition than this one. (ST10112h)
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PJP Catalog: ELIST5.035