A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A site


November 2016

An attack on tyrannicide while at the same time defending the Jesuit Order

855G Thomas Pelletier active 1598-1628.

dsc_0160De l’inuiolable et sacrée personne des rois :contre tous assassins et parricides qui ozent attenter sur leurs Majestez.

Paris : François Huby 1610           SOLD

Octavo 6 x 4 inches A-Q8 First Edition there is an ownership signature on verso of title dsc_0159dated 1701. Very light water stain at top corner of fore-margin Old thin boards with green diced calf label on front cover “Anno 1610”. Minor chips on spine. .

Dedication signed Pelletier. This is very scarce work, it is an attack on tyrannicide while at the same time defending the Jesuit Order just after Ravaillac,a want-to-be Jesuit, assassinated Henry IV of France. In 1609, Ravaillac claimed to have experienced a vision instructing him to convince King Henry IV to convert the Huguenots to Catholicism. Between Pentecost 1609 and May 1610, Ravaillac made three separate trips to Paris to tell his vision to the king, and lodged with Charlotte du Tillet, mistress of Jean Louis de Nogaret de La Valette, duc d’Épernon. Unable to meet the king, Ravaillac interpreted Henry’s decision to invade the Spanish Netherlands as the start of a war against the Pope. Determined to stop him, he decided to kill the king.On 14 May 1610, Ravaillac lay in wait in the Rue de la Ferronnerie in Paris (now south of the Forum des Halles); when the king passed, his carriage was halted by a blockage in the street, and Ravaillac stabbed Henry to death. Pierre de l’Estoile, the chronicler, stated of the king:His coach, entering from St Honoré to Ferronnerie Street, was blocked on one side by a cart filled with wine and on the other by a cart filled with hay… Ravaillac climbed on the wheel of the above-named coach and with a knife trenchant on both sides stabbed him between the second and third ribs.Ravaillac was immediately seized by police and taken to the Hôtel de Retz to avoid a mob lynching. …Jesuits were accused of complicity in Jean Chastel’s attempt to assassinate Henry IV on 27 December 1594. Chastel’s actions gave Jesuit opponents just what they needed to achieve their goal of expelling the hated Society. Expelled from most of France by the parlement of Paris and by several other parlements, the Jesuits returned when the king granted them clemency.The Society was banished from France and from Venice; there were grave differences with the King of Spain, with Sixtus V, with the Dominican theologians; and within the Society the rivalry between Spaniard and Italian led to unusual complications and to the calling of two extraordinary general congregations (fifth and sixth). The origin of these troubles is perhaps eventually to be sought in the long wars of religion, which gradually died down after the canonical absolution of Henry IV, 1595 (in which Fathers Georges, Toledo, and Possevinus played important parts). The fifth congregation in 1593 supported Acquaviva steadily against the opposing parties, and the sixth, in 1608, completed the union of opinions. Paul V had in 1606 reconfirmed the Institute, which from now onwards may be considered to have won a stable position in the Church at large, until the epoch of the Suppression and the Revolution. Missions were established in Canada, Chile, Paraguay, the Philippine Islands, and China. At Father Acquaviva’s death the Society numbered 13,112 members in 32 provinces and 559 houses.’

DeBacker- Sommervogel vol VI col .. Not in here?

The School Of Recreation

Being a person of divers interests, it is not all that often that I (or even you gentle reader) find an early modern book which discusses more than a few of them, but alas today I have a book to of…

Source: The School Of Recreation

The School Of Recreation

Being a person of divers interests, it is not all that often that I (or even you gentle reader) find an early modern book which discusses more than a few of them, but alas today I have a book to offer which discusses  many of them!

dsc_0158790G R(obert) H(owllet) fl 1696

The School Of Recreation: Or A Guide To The Most Ingenious Exercises Of Hunting, Riding, Racing, Fireworks, Military Discipline, The Science Of Defence, Hawking, Tennis, Bowling, Singing, Cock-fighting, Fowling, Angling.

London : printed for A. Bettesworth, at the Red-Lyon on London-Bridge, 1710.  $3,400

Duodecimo 5.25 X 3.25 A13, B-G12 Bound in original full calf!

This little handbook, with its many and diverse subjects, provides a tantalizing window onto the past. In his preface, the author advocates the practice of these hobbies for pleasure, to promote a ‘healthful constitution,’ and for ‘profit and advantage.’ Further, he uses the phrase ‘leisure hours’ and recommends practicing these recreations ‘to unbend your cares after the tiresome drudgery of weighty temporal matters.’ He also calls the pursuit of these various diversions harmless, but warns the reader not to become so absorbed in these pastimes that he neglect his other duties.The very idea that people in this period had leisure time is interesting in itself, and the details found inside this volume provide a very clear picture of the activities described. Any student of the past who follows the careful instructions laid out in Howllet’s School of Recreation would be able to re-create the personal entertainments of the English from the end of the seventeenth century.We might expect to read about hunting, but the author also includes a lengthy description of dog breeding, with breeds mentioned by name, advice for what to look for when breeding for specific traits, and details about kenneling and canine health issues. Similarly, the English have had an enthusiasm for riding that goes back through the centuries, and the chapter on horses goes into great detail about training, riding, tack, and more, with a special chapter on racing.

The section on ‘Artificial Fire-works’ is a little less anticipated, and does not disappoint. Howllet categorizes fireworks into three general ‘sorts: ’those that ascend in the air; those that consume on the earth; and such as burn on the water.’ He also describes how to make molds for rockets, and follows with what can only be described as recipes for a sky rocket, golden rain, silver stars, red fiery colored stars, stars that give reports, mortars for balloons, the inimitable ‘flying saucisson,’ (or sausage) for earth and water, fire boxes, fiery lances, trees and fountains of fire, fire wheels, ground rockets, fiery globes. The author describes how to test powder, and some really amazing-sounding fireworks with figures made of cardboard and wicker to look like St. George slaying the dragon, mermaids, and whales. “In [the dragon’s] mouth and eyes you must fix serpents, or small rockets, which being fired at their setting out, will cause a dreadful sight in a dark night.”

The section on military discipline is interesting, but hard to understand practiced as a hobby. I suppose that one needs to be ever at the ready. Fun military exercises done with pikes and muskets are included here, to keep your skills in peak form, even during peacetime. The reader may perform them on foot or while mounted.

The chapters that follow are too numerous to treat separately with any fairness. They include sword fighting and fencing, hawking, bowling, tennis, hand bell ringing (with many songs or ‘bobs’ included), vocal music (with two beautiful text diagrams), followed by cock fighting (including advice on caring for your cock which includes, but is not limited to licking his head and eyes with your tongue, and then feeding him hot urine, see page 145), fowling (hunting wild birds like ducks, pheasants, etc.), and finally, fishing (including fly fishing with real and ‘artificial’ flies, and recipes for bait).The School of Recreation continues to educate its readers with innocent and enlightening leisure time activities.


ESTC Citation No. T72534Only three copies Harvard, Huntington ,McMaster University.

(See; Chris Philip, A Bibliography of Firework Books, page 74; Westwood and Satchell, Bibliotheca Piscatoria, A Catalogue of Books on Angling, page110; (the fencing section is not listed in Thimm, Bibliography of Fencing and Duelling); John Resler Swift, Bibliotheca Accipitaria II A catalogue of Books Ancient and Modern Relating to Falconry, page 163; Schwerdt, A Catalogue of Books Relating to Hunting, Hawking and Shooting, Volume 4, page 49.)

Le journal des savants 1681-1699

Journal Des Sçavans  : The First Scientific Journal   After a bit of incubation on the shelf, I have decided to work my way through these Fourteen Volumes.  I am offering this set  for        …

Source: Le journal des savants 1681-1699

New Voyages to North-America. Containing an Account of the Several Nations of that Vast Continent

877G Louis Armand, Baron de Lahontan (9 June 1666 – prior to 1716)dsc_0102-2

New voyages to North-America. Containing An Account of the several Nations of that vast Continent; their Customs, Commerce, and Way of Navigation upon the Lakes and Rivers; the several Attempts of the English and French to disposses one another; with the Reasons of the Miscarriage of the former; and the various Adventures between the French, and the Iroquese Confederates of England, from 1683 to 1694. A Geographical Description of Canada, and a Natural History of the Country, with Remarks upon their Government, and the Interest of the English and French in their Commerce. Also a Dialogue between the Author and a General of the Savages, giving a full View of the Religion and strange Opinions of those People: With an Account of the Authors Retreat to Portugal and Denmark and his Remarks on those Courts. To which is added, A Dictionary of the Algonkine Language, which is generally spoke in North-America. Illustrated with Twenty Three Mapps and Cutts. Written in French By the Baron Lahontan, Lord Lievtenant of the French Colony at Placentia in Newfoundland, now in England. Done into English. In Two volumes. A great part of which never Printed in the Original.


877G Louis Armand, Baron de Lahontan (9 June 1666 – prior to 1716)

London, Printed for H. Bonwicke in St. Paul’s Church-Yard ; T. Goodwin, M. Wotton, B. Tooke, in Fleetstreet ; and S. Manship in Cornhi 1703.                         $18,000


This copy is bound in contemporary  Cambridge style calf which has been rebacked, double
1-2red leather spine labels, gilt-stamped, one folding map and one interior page laminated onto Japanese paper. . Some light scattered foxing. This is a very nice solid copy . Two Volume

First edition in English of Lahontan‘s famous narrative, a curious blending of fact and fantasy, to be honored in regard to his account of his travels in the Great Lakes region, but as to his claims to have journeyed west of the Mississippi, Howes states they have the veracity of “the legends of the sea serpent.” The maps and plates are quite interesting, though the former evidence some confused geography, most notably that of the “Long River” west of the Great Lakes. Despite Lahontan’s lapses, this remains one of the most important midwestern travel narratives. The views of Indians and villages, as well as the maps, were engraved by H. Moll under the supervision of the author, and a new map of Newfoundland appears in this edition, as well as material relating to Lahontan’s non-American travels. Rare with all twenty-four plates and maps, as well as the advertisement leaf.

Clark, I:111; European Americana, 703/86; Greenly Michigan, 9 (note); Howes, L25 “b”; Sabin, 38644; Wheat Transmississippi, 86, 87.

De Lahontan joined the troupes de la marine and was sent to New France in 1683 at age 17 along with two other officers and three companies of troops. After arriving at Quebec in November and settling in Beaupré, he would lead his company in 1684 on an unsuccessful offense against the Iroquois from Fort Frontenac. Having already faced the reality of settler life in Beaupré, de Lahontan again led his men to Boucherville to live with local habitants between 1685 and 1687 – himself dividing his time between hunting and classical literature. Just prior to a decision to return to France, Lahontan was ordered –at least in part because of his knowledge of the Algonkian language- to head a detachment of French and native troops towards Fort St. Joseph where he would launch another attack on the Iroquois. He was a restless commander and spent much of his time exploring the region. In 1688 following news of the abandonment of the post at Niagara and renewed attacks of the Iroquois, he burned his fort and led his men to Michillimackinac in search of supplies and possibly entertainment for his men. De Lahontan felt that without supplies from Niagara his dwindling stores would not be enough to last the winter. During the dsc_0122winter and spring months he explored the upper Mississippi valley where he ascended the “Rivière Longue”; some scholars consider this a fanciful tale, others argue that he had discovered the Missouri River.  Upon return to Amsterdam in 1703 he published his three most famous works: Nouveaux Voyages dans l’Amerique Septentrionale,(this work) Memoires de l’Amerique Septentrionale, and Supplement aux Voyages ou Dialogues avec le sauvage Adario. Nouveaux Voyages dans l’Amerique Septentrionale provides a thorough and detailed account of de Lahontan’s life and stay in New France, while Memoires de l’Amerique Septentrionale describes his observations of geography, institutions, commerce as well as information about native tribes. Finally, Supplement aux Voyages ou Dialogues avec le sauvage Adario lambasts institutional Christianity by means of a dialogue between de Lahontan and a Huron Chief named Adario (The Rat). The author attempts to contrast the injustice of Christianity with the freedom and justice of native people. His idealized view of “natural humanity” as a vehicle for criticizing European civilization was a forceful early expression of the “noble savage” trope associated with the Enlightenment. (Wikipedia)

Lahontan journeyed west in 1687 with Duluth and was given command of Fort St. Joseph on the St. Clair River. In 1688 he travelled further west by the Fox-Wisconsin portage and reached the upper Mississippi. In all Lahontan spent twenty years in the colony fighting the Iroquois and his work is considered “one of the best early works on the subject” dsc_0111 During the decade he had spent in North America, dsc_0120Lahontan “had not lacked opportunities to distinguish himself. He had taken part in two campaigns against the Iroquois, had twice been besieged by the English, had visited almost all parts of New France and may well have reached the Mississippi at a time when few Frenchmen had seen it. But he appears to have made little mark; except during his final months at Placentia, the official correspondence of the time scarcely mentions him But while serving and travelling in New France he had done something few of his fellow officers thought to do: ‘In the course of my Voyages and Travels, I took care to keep particular Journals of every thing…’, sometimes even making notes on birch-bark. From these diaries he was able later to compose the three books which were to make him, next to Louis Hennepin, the most widely read author on North America in the first half of the 18th century. “Lahontan’s works appeared at a time when travel narratives were enjoying an extraordinary vogue in Europe and when interest in North America, aroused by the ‘Jesuit Relations’ and whetted by the voyages of Hennepin and Henri Tonty, was greater than ever before. His ‘Nouveaux voyages dans l’Amérique septentrionale’ and their sequel, ‘Mémoires de septentrionale, ‘ were published in January 1703



Willis and the famous copper engraving of the base of the brain

Clarissimi viri Thomaeillis … De anima brutorum, quae hominis vitalis ac sensitiva est, exercitationes duae : quarum prior philosophica, ejusdem naturam, partes, potentia, & affectiones t…

Source: Willis and the famous copper engraving of the base of the brain

Illuminating Incunabula: report of a two-day workshop with Falk Eisermann

Echoes from the Vault

Early last week, on 16 &17 November, incunabula expert Falk Eisermann visited St Andrews to give a two-day workshop on early printed books in Europe. Dr Eisermann is head of the incunabula division at the Berlin State Library since 2007 and enjoys an outstanding reputation amongst scholars of early printed books.

Dr Eisermann works through on of St Andrews' copies of the 1481 Koberger edition of Duns Scotus with the workshop attendants. Dr Eisermann works through on of St Andrews’ copies of the 1481 Koberger edition of Duns Scotus with the workshop attendants.

poster-1The workshop, entitled Illuminating Incunabula – What we can learn from early printed books, addressed various issues such as describing incunabula, finding information in catalogues and online tools and – most importantly – working with rare books in hand. The workshop brought together 15 participants who learned about terminology and digital tools for the work with incunabula. St Andrews holds around 160 of these early books printed before 1501 and the library has finished cataloguing all items…

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Bloggers of the World Unite: Rare Book Bloggers and the Links They Build

Echoes from the Vault

This is a collaborative post by Brooke Palmieri and Daryl Green and can be found cross-posted on both of their blogs (8vo and Echoes from the Vault)

This whole thing started when Brooke pulled back a bookplate and revealed Hartmann Schedel’s very neat hand-writing…

In August 2011 Brooke Palmieri [BP] wrote an entry over at her blog, 8vo, about a discovery she made while cataloguing a book for Sokol Books Ltd: an unassuming copy of an incunable on the authority of the pope that turned out to have been owned and heavily annotated by one of the premier among chroniclers and bibliophiles of the 15th century, Hartmann Schedel (best known for his “Nuremberg Chronicle”).  The discovery dovetailed with the release of Sokol’s Catalogue 59, where it caught the attention of Daryl Green [DG], Acting Rare Books Librarian (Rare Books Cataloguer at the…

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The First Printed Illustration of a Dinosaur Fossil

Plot, Robert (1640-1696)

The Natural History of Oxford-shire, Being an Essay toward the Natural History of England. By Robert Plot, LL.D.

Oxford: And are to be had there: And in London at Mr. S. Millers, at the Star near the West-end of St. Pauls Church-yard. 1677                                                  $6,500
Folio 32 x 19.2 cm. Collation: [a]2, b4, A-Z4, Aa-Yy4, Zz2, Aaa-Bbb2 (Bbb2 blank and present.) With 16 added engraved plates and an engraved folding map of Oxfordshire.


2733_3Bound in contemporary English calf, the hinges discreetly repaired and the full spine, tooled in gold and with red morocco label, intact. A beautiful copy, very clean and with no blemishes. The map VERY crisp and on heavy paper with no repairs, splits, or fraying. Excellent. The text is illustrated with a large folding map of Oxfordshire and sixteen full-paged engravings of fossils, minerals, plants, the fascinating Enston waterworks, and other marvels and curiosities, by Michael Burghers.

“Of all of the British naturalists of the late seventeenth-century, few represent the omnivorous curiosity of the Baconian tradition and its passion for collecting specimens and observations for their own sake so well as Robert Plot… In 1674 he drew up an itinerary patterned on those of earlier English antiquaries; but whereas they had been concerned with books and buildings to the exclusion of natural history and technology, Plot intended to tour England and Wales in search of ‘all curiosities both of art and nature such… as transcend the ordinary performances of the one and are out of the ordinary road of the other.’ He began with the county in which he was then living, starting work on his ‘Natural History of Oxfordshire’ in June 1674; by November 1675 he had a fine collection of minerals to exhibit to the Royal Society, and the book appeared in 1677. On the strength of the ‘Natural history’, Plot was appointed fellow of the Royal Society in 1677. He was secretary in 1682-1684 and thus joint editor of the Philosophical Transactions, most of which were printed at Oxford during his term of office; he was elected secretary in 1692. His success as a collector of rarities must also have helped when, in March 1683, the University of Oxford appointed him first keeper of the newly acquired Ashmolean Museum.”Plot’s stress on the unusual and the anomalous, and his expectation that more can be learned from exceptions than from the general rule, apparently stemmed from his interpretation of the Baconian inheritance; this approach gives his natural histories a rather bizarre and curious flavor- his zoology tends to be teratology. He started with the heavens -curious meteorological phenomena observed in the country- then its airs (acoustic researches into sites famous for their echoes), waters—especially mineral and medicinal—and earths. The phenomena of erosion, which he called ‘deterration’, are discussed. He had some notion of stratigraphy, observing that ‘the Earth is here [Shotover Hill], as at most other places, I think I may say of a bulbous nature, several folds of diverse colour and consistencies still including one another.’”

Plot also made an extensive study of ‘formed stones’ or fossils, without appreciating that they could be used to identify strata. The controversy on the origins of fossils was then at its height. Plot argued, from the differences between fossil shells and any known specimens of the living shellfish they were thought to represent, that fossil shells were crystallizations of mineral salts; their zoomorphic appearance was as coincidental as the regular shapes of stalactites or snowflakes.

2733_1Large quadruped fossils he considered the remains of giants, except for one identified as that of an elephant through comparison with an Elephant skull in the Ashmolean museum.”One of [Plot’s] main objectives was to describe local crafts and farming techniques, in the hope of diffusing successful practices or new inventions throughout the country. Thus technological information is scattered through both his works on natural history, providing useful evidence on contemporary agriculture, mines, and such industries as the Staffordshire potteries.” (DSB)”Some seventy species of fossils are described. Here we have excellent descriptions and beautifully engraved drawings of these objects from the Jurassic and Cretaceous. Among them are many well-known forms…. He recognized the essential differences between those unrelated groups of bivalved shells, the brachiopods and the lamellibranchs”. (Challinor p. 62).This work also contains the first depiction of a dinosaur fossil. The fossil femur, identified by Plot as belonging to an elephant, is now thought to belong to Megalosaurus. The illustration is bound before page 143.

ESTC R7620; Wing P2586; Madan, 3130; Gibson 536

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