“A PATTERN TO STIR UP ALL HEROIC AND ACTIVE SPIRITS”: 1762 EDITION OF THE ENGLISH HERO, CROUCH’S BIOGRAPHY OF SIR FRANCIS DRAKE
[CROUCH, Nathaniel]. The English Hero: Or, Sir Francis Drake Reviv'd… Inlarged and reduced into Chapters and Contents, by R.B. London: Printed for C. Hitch, L. Hawes, S. Crowder and Co., 1762. 12mo (3-1/4 by 5 inches), contemporary full calf rebacked in calf-gilt, red morocco spine label. $1800.
Later edition of this popular and influential biography of Sir Francis Drake, illustrated with an engraved frontispiece portrait of the sea captain, in contemporary calf boards.
This brief biography of Drake, a key contribution to his legendary status in the popular imagination, includes accounts of his global circumnavigation, his defeat of the Spanish Armada and his voyages to North America. "Based largely on Fletcher's World encompassed  and on Nichol's Sir Francis Drake revived , this account… seems to have struck English popular fancy more forcibly" than its sources (Howes B1035). In fact, although the title page denotes this the "sixteenth edition," the book actually saw 23 by 1762. "R.B." are initials for "Robert Burton," a pseudonym bookseller and publisher Nathaniel Crouch appears to have adopted in reference to the author of The Anatomy of Melancholy (1620): "The Anatomy… [gave] many humbly educated men a passing knowledge of the classics. In a similar fashion Crouch's history books presented shortened and simplified versions of serious works to audiences that might otherwise never have read them" (DNB). First published in 1687. Sabin 9500. Contemporary ink markings and later pencil bibliographic notation to front pastedown.
Occasional light foxing, minor closed tear to leaf [C6], free endpapers renewed. Contemporary calf boards lightly rubbed with expert restoration. Extremely good condition. Scarce.