1578 Frutefull Sermons Preached by the Right Reverend Father, and Constant Martyr of Jesus Christ M Hugh Latymer (Latimer).John Daye, London

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A 1578 printing of the Sermons of the Christian martyr Hugh Latimer, who was burned at the stake in 1555. This copy has a wonderful binding, but the work it holds is rough, is missing about 1/6th of the leaves, and there are some leaves bound in the wrong place. At the time of listing this book, "good" copies of 16th century Latimer's Frutefull Sermons are selling for approx. $2,500, per Vialibri; I'll offer this copy at a 1/3rd of the cost, to reflect condition.

According to Foxe, Dr. Ridley and Master Latimer were executed together, for their Protestant leaning beliefs; at that time England had fallen under Catholic rule. Here is a wonderful opportunity to own many of the sermons that led this 16th century martyr to the stake, printed not long after his death.

Foxe quotes Latimer's final statement to Ridley as, "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out".

There is a colophon (usually reserved for the end of a book) at Ll8, and a new "sermon", entitled A Sermon Preached by M. Hugh Latimer at Grimstorpe... begins at signature AA1.

Rarity -

English Short Title Catalogue (ETSC) number 006180008, which claims 16 copies in Europe and 6 in the U.S. libraries. I do have cause to wonder how many of the European copies are double-counted since Cambridge is listed six times. On Worldcat I find only two physical copies listed, OCLC numbers 1156437479 (at Cambridge) and 1006169014 (at the University of London, Warburg), the copies at other institutions being digital or microform.

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 18.5 x 14 x 3 cm, 8to. Modern calf binding; boards with an outer frame of double blind fillet and spine with five raised bands and the title, in gilt, in one compartment. Refreshed endpapers.

Pages are numbered so poorly (from the printer) that I gave up on page numbering and resorted to signatures (the signing of the folded printed sheets, into eighths, at the bottom of the page).

F4 and 5, A4-A7, C3-C6, C1-C2, C7-C8, D1, D7, F6-F8, G to U8 (but O and P bound as 03-06, P8, 02, 07, 01, 08, P1-7), X1, X3-8, Aa-Ll8 with added Ll5, AA-CC8, EE8, FF1-3, F5, F4, F6-8, GG8. (276 leaves).

Missing leaves signed *1-8, A1, A2, A8, B1-8, D2-6, D8, F1-3, X2, Y1-8, DD1-8, HH1-8, II1-2 (47 leaves).

Condition -

See pictures. Binding is modern and almost perfect; I see only a light rub on the front board, approx. 2 cm (perhaps a ring rub). Latimer portrait over pastedown (inside the front board). Missing 55 leaves (mostly at front, and rest at rear), 276 leaves present. Refreshed endpapers. Browning, corners clipped, thumb marks, occasional fox spots, fore-edge tears, small tears, old tissue repairs, etc., throughout. Whoever organized the signatures for binding must have been drinking; quite a few quires and leaves out of place (see collation). Occasional marginal annotations in an old hand ("Willm Pla(tt?) of Bury", p98). ​Price reflects condition. Great binding, but 1/6th of the work isn't here, and the pages are a little rough. But it's a rare work, hard to find at any cost.

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