LIVES OF THE NOBLE GRECIANS AND ROMANES, Compared Together by that Grave and Learned Philosopher & Historiographer, Plutarke of Chæronea: Translated out of Greek in to French by James Amyot...and out of French into Englishe by Thomas North

Price: 8,500.00 USD

(London: by Richard Field for Bonham Norton, 1595), A VERY EARLY AND ELUSIVE PRINTING OF THOMAS NORTH'S CELEBRATED TRANSLATION OF PLUTARCH. "SHAKESPEARE'S PLUTARCH". "North's incomparable prose...[his] achievement in narrative prose is only less signal than Shakespeare's in dramatic verse. I doubt if there are many pages which may rank with the last of North's Antonius in the prose of any language...Of good English prose there is much, but of the world's greatest books in great English prose there are not many. Here is one, worthy to stand with Malory's Morte D'Arthur on either side of the English Bible" (George Wyndham, Essays in Romantic Literature). "There are few who, were the choice given them, would not rather read Plutarch in the noble English of North, than in the restrained and sometimes inexpressive Greek of Plutarch" (Charles Whibley, Cambridge History of English Lit.). North's Plutarch is also well-known as a primary source for the plots of Shakespeare's classical plays and for numerous passages in the non-Roman ones, and he relied almost exclusively on it for the historical background of ancient Rome. A copy of the fourth edition is said to have been among his possessions at his death, but all of the plays in question were written before that edition was published in 1612. F.A. Leo in his extensive comparison of the editions of 1579, 1595 and 1603 to the text of Shakespeare's tragedies in the first folio found sufficient reason to be of the opinion that this issue, that of 1595, had been Shakespeare's source. A RARE EARLY PRINTING IN ENGLISH OF THE MOST VENERATED CLASSICAL HISTORY. NORTH'S GREAT TRANSLATION INTO ENGLISH. A SCARCE AND VERY IMPORTANT PRINTING. The "Shakespeare Plutarch", the printing presumed to this day to have been used by Shakespeare for his research and historical writing. This is the second edition of North's first translation of Plutarch into English, this the rare issue with Norton's imprint instead of that of Thomas Wright. This copy with the 1740 signature of Sir John St Aubyn, 3rd Baronet, on the verso of the title-page. Printer's device on the titlepage, numerous woodcut portraits within elaborate woodcut borders as chapter-headings, various woodcut initials and head- and tail-pieces. Folio, handsomely bound in later full dark black morocco, the boards with a double gilt fillet border, the spines with gilt ruled bands and gilt lettering. [xiv], 1173 [20] pp. An honest and textually complete copy, for the most part very clean. The leaves of the dedication and "to the reader" are bound out of order but are present as called for, the title-page with early restoration to the verso, several lines of the title replaced at an early date, some preliminary leaves have mellowed and are refurbished at the fore-edge with some marginal notations affected, some wear to the edges of the index leaves, occasional other elements of age or use, generally constrained to the margins, lacking only the final few leaves of the index and possibly a blank. The binding in very fine condition.

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