"A PRINCE BEING RESOLVED TO MAKE WARRE…": SCARCE FIRST EDITION OF THE ART OF WARRE, 1639
C[RUSO], J[ohn]. The Art of Warre, or Militarie discourses… Englished by I.C. Cambridge: Printed by Roger Daniel, Printer to that famous Universitie, 1639. 12mo, period-style full blind-paneled speckled calf gilt, raised bands. $4500.
Extremely scarce first edition of Cruso's translation of du Praissac's long-esteemed military manual, copiously illustrated with wood-engravings, handsomely bound in period-style speckled calf.
The Sieur du Praissac's Les Discours Militaires (Paris, 1614) "makes specific, detailed reference to the military campaigns of Maurits of Nassau, especially the sieges of the 1590s" (Richelieu's Army, 28). "His book was widely read, both in the original French and in Cruso's English version, and was a recognized authority" (American Military History 2:2 , 110). Little is known about Cruso, except that "he wrote or translated six military books of real value, and his publications include no books but military" (ibid, 106). Cruso's translation of it, presented here, is addressed "To the Gentlemen of the Artillerie and Militarie companies in this kingdome, and particularly of that in Norwich," with the comment that "These are times of action, and require every true hearted subject to imploy his talent for his Majesties service and the public safety"—a decidedly royalist stance at a time of increasing Puritan strength and tension between Parliament and the King. Illustrated with numerous wood-engraved illustrations, maps and military plans (many full-page), depicting martial maneuvers, equipment, and fortificatons, as well as ornamental woodcut initials and headpieces. With woodcut diagram inserted after leaf L1, sometimes absent; without engraving "The Military Encycle" (not always present). Three issues exist, with no priority known; this copy with cancel title page that does not mention J. Williams in imprint. STC 7365.9. CBEL I:390. See Cockle 146. Small sticker to front pastedown.
Interior generally fresh and clean. One-inch hole to top corner of leaf [E8], not affecting images or text. About-fine condition. Scarce.