(London: For Richard Baldwin, 1692). 175 x 109 mm. (7 x 4 3/8"). 10 p.l. (including portrait and engraved title), 94, , 136, , 83, , 19 [i.e., 21],  pp. Four parts in one volume (register is continuous, but there are four title pages). Second Edition.
Contemporary speckled calf, raised bands, recently rebacked, later red morocco label, marbled endpapers. Engraved portrait of Sir Thomas Overbury, additional engraved title page. Front pastedown with bookplates of Alfred E. Hamill and Robert S. Pirie; front free endpaper with inscription of John Moore; first gathering supplied from another copy. Wing S-4818C. Corners lightly bumped, first gathering loose, moderate foxing and browning throughout (due to poor quality paper), two pages with mild soiling, two pages with inky fingerprints (likely from printer), but still a satisfactory copy, without fatal defects, in a neatly restored binding.
This is the second edition of this diverting compilation on Stuart court intrigue that promises to raise a "Torch-light . . . and discover all the Policies, Dissimulations, Treacheries, Witchcraft, Conjurings, Charmes, Adulteries, Poysonings, Murderings, Blasphemies and Heresies" of the Jacobean era. While the title indicates that the text will deal with the life of James I, much of it dwells on the murder by poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury, for which four conspirators were hanged, and two--Robert Carr, 1st Earl Somerset (a favorite of James), and his second wife, Frances Howard--were imprisoned and disgraced. In Sparke's narrative, Overbury becomes a Puritan martyr and a symbol for all that threatened the realm: crypto-Catholicism, a corrupt court, and effeminate Scottish and pro-Spanish advisors ruled by their scheming wives. Our copy was previously in the libraries of Alfred E. Hamill (1884-1953), collector and founder of the Centaur Press, as well as that of Robert S. Pirie (1934-2015), an extremely successful lawyer and investment banker who accumulated the finest library of 16th and 17th century English literature in private hands. (ST13043f)
Add to Cart Price: $250.00
PJP Catalog: Cat 69.175