AN INVALUABLE RESOURCE FOR TUDOR STUDIES: CAMDEN’S REMAINES, RARE 1605 FIRST EDITION, CONTAINING ONE OF THE EARLIEST REFERENCES IN PRINT TO THE NAME "SHAKESPEARE"
CAMDEN, William. Remaines of a Greater Worke, Concerning Britaine and the Inhabitants Thereof, their Languages, Names, Surnames, Empreses, Wise Speeches, Poesies and Epitaphes. London: Printed by G.E. for Simon Waterson, 1605. Small quarto, 19th-century three-quarter brown morocco, marbled boards and endpapers.
Rare first edition of this great work by William Camden, containing a wealth of information on the history of Britain, "introduced succinctly and without pedantry by a respected authority" (Herendeen), and with an early reference to the name "Shakespeare."
A contemporary of William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, Camden published his Remaines as a work comprised of material collected for inclusion in his Britannia but not used. An extraordinary collection by one of the greatest historians of the age, the Remaines contains a wealth of information on the history of Britain, its languages, the origins of names and surnames, puzzles, money, firearms, artillery, costumes, and poetry, and hundreds of anagrams, proverbs, epigrams, epitaphs ("On Master Burbidge the Tragedian: Exit Burbidge"), "wise speeches," and more. Of particular interest is one of the earliest references in print to the name "Shake-speare" in the discussion of the origins of surnames. "In form and content, the Remaines seems perfectly suited to its educated audience. In design resembling a miscellany or personal commonplace book, but having highly focused chapters with compact easily digested information, it is easy reading. Full of diverse but easily accessible information that is introduced succinctly and without pedantry by a respected authority" (Herendeen, William Camden, 430-31). This popular work ran to seven editions by 1674. Woodcut initials. STC 4521. Rosenbach 28:70. Bookplate.
First few leaves, including title page, with mild dampstaining, text generally fresh and clean, trimmed a little close along upper margin, just affecting some running titles; binding sound. An attractive copy with unusually large side margins.