Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall

Francis BACON

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Item#: 127536 price:$15,000.00

Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall
Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall
Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall

“THE DISTILLATION OF A LIFETIME’S WISDOM BY THE WISEST MAN OF HIS DAY”: 1625 FIRST COMPLETE EDITION OF BACON’S ESSAYS, SCARCE FIRST ISSUE, HANDSOMELY BOUND IN FULL MOROCCO BY RIVIERE

BACON, Francis. The Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall… Newly enlarged. London: John Haviland for Hanna Barret, 1625. Octavo, 20th-century full crushed red morocco gilt rebacked with original spine laid down, raised bands, all edges gilt; housed in a custom half morocco slipcase. $15,000.

First complete edition (and the last edition to appear during Bacon’s lifetime), extremely scarce first issue, containing 58 essays, a splendid copy bound in full morocco gilt by Riviere.

"The first in time, and, we may justly say, the first in excellence, of English writings on moral prudence, are the Essays of Bacon… They are deeper and more discriminating than any earlier, or almost any later, work in the English language" (Allibone, 90). "'I have taken all knowledge to be my province,' Bacon declared, not at 65 on his deathbed, but at 31… Bacon's day was, perhaps, the last moment in history when anything like omniscience was within the limits of human attainment; even in his day, Bacon's was, perhaps, the only mind which could achieve it. At least his was the only mind that ever did… The essays were simply the distillation of a lifetime's wisdom by the wisest man of his day" (Winterich). "This is the first complete edition and the last to appear in Bacon's lifetime. It contains 58 essays and is the text most commonly reprinted today. For this reason the present edition ranks in importance with the [extraordinarily rare] first of 1597 and the recension published by John Beale in 1612. In the dedication Bacon says: 'I doe now publish my Essayes; which, of all my other workes, have beene most Currant: For that, as it seemes, they come home, to Mens Businesse, and Bosomes. I have enlarged them, both in Number, and Weight; So that they are indeed a New Worke" (Pforzheimer 30). With beautiful woodcut title vignette and woodcut initials throughout. First issue, with "Newly Enlarged" on title page. With occasional mispagination as issued. With initial blank leaf but without terminal blank leaf, both rarely found. Gibson 13. STC 1147. See Pforzheimer 30; PMM 119.

Interior clean and fresh, morocco binding handsome.

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