Holy Bible

BIBLE

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SECOND EDITION OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC TRANSLATION IN ENGLISH OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, 1635, IN HANDSOME CONTEMPORARY CALF

BIBLE. The Holy Bible, Faithfully Translated into English out of the authentical Latin… [Rouen, France]: John Cousturier, 1635. Two volumes. Small, thick quarto, contemporary full calf rebacked in calf gilt, raised bands, red morocco spine labels.

Second edition of the Roman Catholic translation in English of the Old Testament—and the last for more than a century—in contemporary calf bindings.

"The Douai Bible is, as it professes to be, a literal translation of the Vulgate, and in some places more accurately hands down the very words of the [biblical] writers than any English translation then existing" (Dore, 316-17). "This version of the Old Testament… came from the same hands as the Rheims New Testament of 1582" (Darlow & Moule, 129), translated by "religious refugees who carried their faith and work abroad. Since the English Protestants used their vernacular translations, not only as the foundation of their own faith but as siege artillery in the assault on Rome, a Catholic translation became more and more necessary in order that the faithful could answer, text for text, against the 'intolerable ignorance and importunity of the heretics of this time.' The chief translator was Gregory Martin…. Technical words were transliterated rather than translated. Thus many new words came to birth…. Not only was [Martin] steeped in the Vulgate, he was, every day, involved in the immortal liturgical Latin of his church. The resulting Latinisms added a majesty to his English prose, and many a dignified or felicitous phrase was silently lifted by the editors of the King James Version, and thus passed into the language" (Great Books and Book Collectors, 108). Lack of funds and "our poore estate in banishment" prevented the publication of the two-volume Old Testament until 1609-1610. This second edition followed in 1635. "The general arrangement of the matter in [the second edition] follows that of the earlier edition… For a period of 115 years after this date (1635-1750), according to Cotton, not a single edition of the Douai-Rheims version of the Bible was published" (Darlow & Moule 387). With decorative woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces. Volume II without last two leaves (end of table and extract from printing license). Darlow & Moule 387. Herbert 499. STC 2321. Old institutional inkstamps, pencil shelf numbers. Manuscript 18th-century family record to leaf 6Ov and recto of following leaf in Volume I.

Three dozen leaves expertly cleaned in Volume I, scattered light foxing, occasional minor edge-wear to leaves and mild marginal dampstaining. Expert restoration to handsome calf boards. A distinguished and desirable copy of a significant edition of the Old Testament in English.

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