ONE OF THE GREATEST RENAISSANCE WORKS OF POLITICAL THEORY, AND PROBABLY THE GREATEST IN THE ‘ADVICE TO PRINCES’ GENRE AFTER MACHIAVELLI AND SIR THOMAS MORE.
AN AUTHENTIC MASTERWORK OF ENGLISH PROSE IN ITS OWN RIGHT, TRANSLATED BY THE GREAT SIR THOMAS NORTH (translator of Plutarch)
THIS IS THE 1568 EDITION, THE FIRST COMPLETE EDITION AND THE DEFINITIVE EDITION – THE ENTIRE FOURTH BOOK APPEARS HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN PRINT.
BEAUTIFULLY BOUND IN 16TH CENTURY ENGLISH BLIND-TOOLED CALF WITH BRASS CLASPS, POSSIBLY BOUND FOR THE EARLS OF MONTROSE.
FROM THE CURZON LIBRARY, AND LIKELY THE EARLS OF MONTROSE BEFORE THAT
THE 1568 FIRST COMPLETE EDITION (second edition overall) OF ‘THE DIAL OF PRINCES,’ PRINTED AT LONDON IN FOLIO BY RICHARD TOTTEL (or Tottil), AUTHORED BY ANTONIO DE GUEVARA, TRANSLATED BY SIR THOMAS NORTH, COMPLETE IN ALL RESPECTS, IN VERY GOOD CONDITION, AND BOUND IN 16TH CENTURY ENGLISH BLIND-TOOLED CALF, CONTEMPORARY TO THE TIME OF PUBLICATION (rebacked in the 20th century). The volume may be referenced as STC 12428 and Palau 110189.
The full title of the volume reads as follows:
“The Dial of Prin- / ces, Compiled by the reverend father / in God, Don Antony of Guevara, Byshop / of Guadix, Preacher, and Chronicler to / Charles the fifte, late of that name / Emperour. / Englished out of the Frenche by T. North, / sonne of Sir Edward North knight, L. North / of kyrtheling. And now newly revised and cor- / rected by hym, refourmed of faultes escaped / in the first edition: with an amplification / also of a fourth booke annexed to the / same, Entituled The favored / Courtier, never heretofore / imprinted in our vul- / gar tongue. / Right necessarie and pleasaunt to / all noble and virtuous / persones. / Now newly imprinted by Richarde / Tottil, and Thomas Marshe. / Anno. Domini. / 1568.”
ANTONIO DE GUEVARA AND ‘THE DIAL OF PRINCES’
Antonio de Guevara (c. 1481 – 3 April 1545) was a Spanish chronicler and moralist.
Born in Treceño in the province of Cantabria, he spent some of his youth at the court of Isabella I of Castile. In 1528 he entered the Franciscan order, and afterwards accompanied Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, during his journeys to Italy and other parts of Europe. He successively held the offices of Charles V's court preacher, court historiographer, Bishop of Guadix, Bishop of Mondoñedo and Charles V's counselor. His earliest work, entitled The Dial of Princes (Reloj de príncipes in its original Spanish), published at Valladolid in 1529, and, according to its author, the fruit of eleven years' labour, is a mirror for princes in the form of a didactic novel, designed after the manner of Xenophon's Cyropaedia, to delineate in a somewhat ideal way, for the benefit of modern sovereigns, the life and character of an ancient prince, Marcus Aurelius, distinguished for wisdom and virtue. It was often reprinted in Spanish; and it so speedily attained fame that before the close of the century there were published several translations in Latin, Italian, French, German, Dutch and English. The two earliest English translations are by J Bourchier (London, 1546) and by Thomas North. There is another version of this text, either earlier or later, Libro Aureo which José Luis Alberg claims Guevara did not want published, and which came out around the same time. That version in its definitive form was published by the great French Hispanist in 1929.
Quentin Skinner, in ‘The Foundations of Modern Political Thought,’ writes:
“A number of humanists also wrote advice-books in which they addressed themselves not merely to kings and princes, but also to their courtiers, nobles, councillors and magistrates. Here again they were drawing on a well-established pattern of Italian political writing, a pattern epitomised by Castiglione’s ‘Book of the Courtier.’ One of the most comprehensive treatises of this kind was ‘The Dial of Princes’ by Antonio de Guevara, which was first published in 1529 and [first] translated into English by Sir Thomas North [in 1557 and, in complete form, in 1568] … . Although Guevara’s title suggests a work in the mirror-for-princes style, he makes it clear at the start of Book II that his advice is in fact intended for ‘great lords’ and other servants of princes as well as for princes themselves.”
Jessica Winston, in ‘Lawyers at Play: Literature, Law, and Politics at the Early Modern Inns of Court,’ writes:
“Bacon’s and Bavan’s conviction that men animate the written law enjoyed wide uptake in inns-of-court circles. Thoams North develops these themes in Book Three of his translation of Antonio de Guevara’s ‘Dial of Princes.’ Although addressed ‘to princes,’ the book is more a manual for all magistrates, arguing for upright legal men’s key role in fostering the good order of the state. North, via Guevara, does this by describing at length how unqualified or dishonest ones destroy it:
‘O poor and miserable commonwealth, where the governors and judges thereof do not caste their eyes but unto them they ought to chastise; where they do not think in their heart but how they may enrich their coffers; where they do not occupy their hands but to take bribes, and do not pass the time but in banquets. And I said not without cause ‘banquets’: For there are many judges which employ their study more to get friends, to maintain their state proudly, than for to read books, to judge men’s causes uprightly. The judge which never readeth, the judge which never studieth, the judge which never openeth book, the judge which is never in his house, the judge which day and night robbeth, how is it possible that he execute one true justice?’
OF SIR THOMAS NORTH
Sir Thomas North (1535–1604) was an English justice of the peace, military officer and translator. His translation into English of Plutarch's Parallel Lives is notable for being a source text used by William Shakespeare for several of his plays. Thomas North was born in 1535 and was the second son of the Edward North, 1st Baron North.
He is supposed to have been a student of Peterhouse, Cambridge, and was entered at Lincoln's Inn in 1557. In 1574 he accompanied his brother, Lord North, on a visit to the French court. He served as captain in the year of the Armada, and was knighted about three years later. His name is on the roll of justices of the peace for Cambridge in 1592 and again in 1597, and he received a small pension (£40 a year) from Queen Elizabeth in 1601.
He translated, in 1557, Guevara's Reloj de Principes (commonly known as Libro áureo), a compendium of moral counsels chiefly compiled from the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, under the title of Diall of Princes. The English of this work is one of the earliest specimens of the ornate, copious and pointed style for which educated young Englishmen had acquired a taste in their Continental travels and studies.
North translated from a French copy of Guevara, but seems to have been well acquainted with the Spanish version. The book had already been translated by Lord Berners, but without reproducing the rhetorical artifices of the original. North's version, with its mannerisms and its constant use of antithesis, set the fashion which was to culminate in John Lyly's ‘Euphues.’
THE VOLUME IS COMPLETE IN ALL RESPECTS INCLUDING THE BLANK LEAF 2E4. It is foliated as follows: (20), 165, (1); 101, 103-173, (24). The volume measures 31.0 cm by 20.2 cm by 5.6 cm; each leaf measures 297 mm by 196 mm.
THE VOLUME IS IN VERY GOOD CONDITION. The leaves are generally clean throughout, with clear print and ample margins. The title-leaf is neatly laid-down with minor repairs and no loss. The leaves pi2, *6, A6 and the second A1 show neatly repaired marginal tears, not affecting the text and without loss. The 12 leaves following the title show a small wormhole affecting a few letters of text, but never affecting legibility. There is minor worming in lower margin of a few initial leaves, and the leaf U2 shows a small hole to the text causing the loss of a couple of letters, but not affecting legibility. Finally, leaf **1 is misbound after leaf **5.
THE BINDING IS OF 16TH CENTURY ENGLISH BLIND-TOOLED CALF, CONTEMPORARY TO THE TIME OF PUBLICATION. The brass clasps, bosses and hinges have been retained, with the leather straps renewed. The volume was rebacked in the 19th or early 20th century. The front hinge and book-block are strong; the rear board is detached. The blind-tooling on the front board remains fresh and clear. The boards show only minor wear, and the binding is in general very attractive.
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- Astronomie, Biologie, Boekbanden, Filosofie, Geïllustreerd, Geschiedenis, Literatuur, Natuurkunde, Politiek, Reizen, Scheikunde, Techniek, Vervoer, Wetenschap (algemeen), Wiskunde
- Auteur/ Illustrator
- Antonio de Guevara / Marcus Aurelius / Sir Thomas North
- The Dial of Princes
- Zeer Goed
- Publicatiejaar oudste item
- Eerste druk
- Oorspronkelijke taal
- Richard Tottill [Richard Tottell] and Thomas Marshe
- 16e eeuws Engels blind bewerkt kalf
- 297×196 mm