April 2023 Catalogue

B a u m a n R a r e B o o k s A p r i l 2 0 2 3 15 “If I Were But Earth, God Was Pleased To Be The Potter; If I But A Sheep, He A Shepherd; If I But A Cottage, He A Builder”: Rare First Edition Of Donne’s Six Sermons, 1634 12. DONNE, John. Six Sermons Upon Severall Occasions, Preached before the King, and elsewhere. London, 1634. Small quarto, contemporary full dark brown sheep rebacked. $8200. First edition of the sermons preached by Donne before Charles I in the years between the king’s accession in 1625 and Donne’s death in 1631. “The truth is that as a preacher at this time Donne stood almost alone” (DNB). In all of these sermons, Donne takes a verse from the Bible, expands it and expounds upon it, delivering impressive and impassioned flights of religious, philosophical, spiritual and poetic inquiry. The first two sermons—the lengthiest included here—Donne preached before King Charles. This is the fourth collection of Donne’s sermons, preceding the folio collections that were published by his son in 1640, 1649, and 1661. “The truth is that as a preacher at this time Donne stood almost alone. Donne’s popularity was always on the increase, he rose to every occasion, and surprised his friends, as Walton tells us, by the growth of his genius and earnestness even to the end’’ (DNB). “One hundred and sixty of Donne’s sermons survive, and they demand reading and study not just as the major productions of his maturity but also as intricate and beautiful pieces of prose. Donne’s religious stance has been much debated from his lifetime on, and the sermons demonstrate that while he continued the controversial interests of his early polemical works, his concern during his ministry was most often to seek edification—of his auditors and of the English church—and, while criticizing those whom he regarded as sectarians, both puritan and Roman Catholic, to find some form of accommodation with elements of both” (ODNB). With general title page and six additional section title pages. Keynes 27. STC 7056. Early owner ink signature to title page; old ink notes and pen trials to front flyleaf (blank) and lower margin of title page. Bookplate. Faint dampstaining through text, some toning particularly to first and last leaves, edges of contemporary boards expertly restored, corners rounded. A very good copy in nicely refurbished contemporary binding.