(London: Printed by J. M. for H. Herringman, 1667). 154 x 92 mm. (6 x 3 5/8"). 8 p.l., 120 pp. FIRST EDITION, First Issue (without the errata slip found below the imprimatur in the second issue).
Early (probably 18th century) inexpensive (perhaps even temporary) vellum-backed marbled paper boards, small paper label at bottom of spine. Front pastedown with armorial Macclesfield bookplate; A1 (imprint) and title page with the small embossed armorial stamp of the Macclesfield Library. Front flyleaf with three-line annotation in an early hand. Keynes 85; Wing E-3510. Thin diagonal crack across spine in one place, lower joint with one-inch crack at bottom leading to a half-inch chip to the vellum, corners rather worn and paper covers rather chafed, as expected, but the fragile binding still solid and really quite appealing as an unlikely survival. Final leaf a trifle foxed in upper margin, but AN ESPECIALLY FINE COPY INTERNALLY, unusually fresh, clean, and bright, and with deep impressions of the type.
As observed in the early annotation on our front flyleaf, the present work is a cordial attack, made without passion, on George Mackenzie's "A Moral Essay Preferring Solitude to Publick Employment," published in 1665. As Keynes indicates, Evelyn and Mackenzie were congenial adversaries in the debate over the best way to lead one's life, partly because Evelyn was of two minds about the matter. Keynes says, "Evelyn's advocacy of an active life might seem at variance with his known delight in country solitude and pursuits, and in truth his attack upon Mackenzie is but a half-hearted affair." In any case, the book is worth reading, if only for the amusing caricatures of country pleasures and types. Best known as a diarist and as founder of the Royal Society, Evelyn (1620-1706) published a number of important books (either original works or translations from the French) on architecture, arboriculture, gardening, and navigation. The internal condition here is remarkably fine, as is typical of many books from the library of the Earl of Macclesfield. (ST15929b)
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PJP Catalog: 76.135