COURT AND CHARACTER OF KING JAMES. Written and Taken by Sir A.W., Being and Eye and Eare Witness
Price: 1,395.00 USD
(London: By R.I. to be sold by John Wright, 1650), SCARCE FIRST EDITION WITH THE RARELY ENCOUNTERED PORTRAIT FRONTISPIECE. A SELDOM ENCOUNTERED CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNT OF KING JAMES I WRITTEN BY A MEMBER OF HIS COURT. ONLY A SMALL HANDFUL OF COPIES HAVE APPEARED IN RECENT YEARS. The work has long been attributed to Anthony Weldon, due somewhat to its not overly flattering portrayal of the monarch and due to its publication within a few months of Weldon's death. The justification for the criticism inherent in the book is usually presumed to be because of Weldon's dismissal from the royal court. At first a popular courtier, Weldon wrote an assessment of the Scottish people which was far from positive and the former James VI of Scotland did not take kindly to it. While these attributions and assumptions have held for centuries there are nowadays opinions emanating from more modern scholarship which challenges both the authorship of the book and the story of Weldon's dismissal from court. Scarce first edition. With the rare portrait frontispiece and engraved titlepage. Small 8vo [132 by 80mm], full contemporary calf, sometime sympathetically and expertly rebacked to correctly marry the boards which are paneled in blind in ornate fashion with floral corner-pieces also in blind, edges with a double-ruled gilt fillet line, edges gilt tooled, the spine with double-ruled gilt raised bands and a red morocco label ruled and lettered in gilt. [x], 197 pp. A nice copy indeed, being well preserved and a complete copy of this scarce work, with light typical age mellowing, the text very sturdy. The binding is attractive though the front hinge has separated, easily repaired.