RARE 1655 Politeuphuia, or Wits Common-Wealth by Nicholas Ling (or John Bodenham). James Flesher printer.


A very interesting and well-regarded 16th century work (originally published in 1597), here in a later reprint of 1655. A miscellany of prose quotations from the Elizabethan Era. A wonderful work for getting a feel of the language of the Elizabethan era.

Attributed to Nicholas Ling, or John Bodenham, the credit not being established with exact certainty; Ling also published the first quarto of Hamlet.

This book is accredited with taking the reigns, from the earlier work of Tottle (circa 1557), in bringing literature to the common people. It was released in a series of four books, this being the first; then came Wit's Theater of the Little World, Wisedom's Pallace, and lastly Englands Parnassus.

At the time of this listing, I cannot find any other copy available for sale dated 1655 or earlier.

Physical Attributes -

Measures approximately 14 x 8 x 2 cm. 1/4 leather with paper (marbled?) covered boards. Pages - (2) title, iv, 321 (with 1st page of index on verso of 321), at rear the other index pages are missing - see condition, (2).

Condition -

See pictures. Well worn binding, with rubbing; label looks to have been removed at bottom of spine, some chipping to Moroccan spine label. Book plates removed (poorly) from front and rear endpapers. Title page loose and mounted, with a loss at bottom right corner and a lot of writing on it. Following two pages (dedication and "To the Reader") also loose. Pages well thumbed, toned and etc.. Occasional ink marks throughout, but not annotations. Strangely, it's as though someone occasionally dribbled fountain pen ink on it and then wiped it off. Leaves 113 and 115 have a 1 cm hole, as if from erasure. Chip at the bottom right corner of the last page of text (321), does not affect text. Last page of author index missing, and the "Table of Matters" that followed it (another index). Excepting some portions of the index, a textually complete and well-loved copy of a rare English work.

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