First Edition of Sir Walter Ralegh’s Masterpiece The History of the World

  • The History of the World.
  • The History of the World.
  • The History of the World.
  • The History of the World.
  • The History of the World.
  • The History of the World.
  • The History of the World.

The History of the World.

$9,500.00

Item Number: 3871

London: Printed for Walter Burre, 1614.

First edition with the engraved title-page and the “Minde of the Frontispiece” leaf, and 8 double-page plates and maps as issued. Folio, bound in full brown calf, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised bands. In very good condition with the text bright. A small early paper repair to the first page and page repair to the final leaf.

"The success of Raleigh’s History can perhaps be explained by the very fact that it is not a work of history in the academic sense but a political tract of immediate applicability. Its author embodied all the glories of the reign of Elizabeth I, which at the time of publication had already begun to be transfigured into a golden age Raleigh can be taken as the epitome of the Elizabethan idea of courtier and politician, sailor and explorer, writer and poet He was among the first Englishmen to envisage clearly that the Americas should be the principal goal of English overseas expansion The reversal of Elizabeth’s policy by James I encompassed Raleigh’s ruin He finally fell a victim to James’s pro-Spanish inclinations, and the last Elizabethan died by the executioner’s axe" (PMM 117).

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