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History of that Most Victorious Monarch Edward III

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(EDWARD III) BARNES, Joshua. The History of that Most Victorious Monarch Edward III… Being a Full and Exact Account of the Life and Death of the said King, Together with That of His Most Renowned Son Edward, Prince of Wales and of Aquitain Sirnamed the Black-Prince. Cambridge: John Hayes for the Author, 1688. Folio, 18th-century full brown paneled calf, rebacked with original gilt-decorated spine laid down, raised bands.

First edition of Barnes’ important history, with three (of five) fine engraved portraits, numerous woodcut initial letters and title page printed in black and red.

Barnes’ noted history, styled after Thucydides, chronicles the turbulent reign of Edward III, a period marked by years of war with France as well as several devastating outbreaks of the Black Death in England. Although militaristic and at times politically foolish, Edward III was also a model of chivalry and established the English court as “the most brilliant in Europe” (Britannica). Barnes’ detailed account of this 14th-century monarch was “dedicated and personally presented to James II. This work has been praised for the fullness of its information” (DNB). Without two portraits. Wing B871. Lowndes 116. Bookplates (one armorial). Originally owned by Charles Dorman, 2nd Earl of Carnarvon (signature on title page); inscriptions of ownership mention C. Williams, Frederick Charles Blackstone, and William Heathcote.

Text and plates bright and clean. A very attractive copy, with distinguished provenance.