"WE WENT OUT FULL BUT RETURN EMPTY": 1647-48 "BEST EDITIONS" OF FULLER'S HOLY WARRE, WITH LARGE FOLDING MAP OF PALESTINE, AND THE HOLY STATE
FULLER, Thomas. The Historie of the Holy Warre… The Third Edition. (Cambridge): Thomas Buck, 1647. BOUND WITH: The Holy State… [and The Profane State] The Second Edition Enlarged. Cambridge: Printed by Roger Daniel for John Williams, 1647-48. One volume. Small thick folio (7-1/2 by 11 inches), 18th-century full brown paneled calf rebacked and recornered at an early date, raised bands, red morocco spine label. $3200.
Third edition of Fuller's Historie of the Holy Warre, the first of his historical works as well as the first to contain an engraved folding map of Palestine, issued with the second edition of his The Holy State and the Profane State, featuring 20 engraved portraits by William Marshall. The "best edition" of each book according to Lowndes.
"Thomas Fuller was incomparably the most sensible, the least prejudiced, great man of an age that boasted a galaxy of great men" (Samuel Coleridge). He was not only one of his day's most popular preachers but also one of its most prolific and well-known writers; indeed, he was "one of the first authors in England to earn his living by his pen" (Kunitz & Haycraft, 206). Fuller's comprehensive but by no means uncritical history of the Crusades was first published in 1639: in his judgment, the Crusades "spent European lives and wealth for nothing more than a faraway plot of land and a few relics" (Madden, 3). His celebrated pair of studies in virtue and vice, The Holy State and The Profane State—"the most popular and characteristic of all his books" (DNB)—first saw print in 1642. "This curious book is a sort of blend of the abstract 'Character' popular at the time, and of examples which are practically short stories with real heroes and heroines, Monica or Joan of Naples, Andronicus Comnenus or Drake" (Pforzheimer 392). Fuller's "heart was in his writing, and on his death-bed he asked for pen and ink" (Kunitz & Haycraft, 207). The Holy Warre with additional engraved title page by William Marshall showing scenes of the Crusades, and a facing-leaf "Dedication of the Frontispiece," with verses attributed to John Cleveland (see Pforzheimer 390). The Holy State illustrated with additional engraved title page, 20 engraved portraits, all by William Marshall; subjects include Paracelsus, Sir Francis Drake, Cardinal Wolsey, Saint Augustine, Lady Jane Grey, Queen Elizabeth, Edward the Black Prince and Joan of Arc. Engraved ornamental initials, head- and tail pieces; occasional mispagination as issued without loss of text. Wing F2438, F2444. Lowndes, 847. Engraved armorial bookplate; early owner ink signature on letterpress title page of The Holy Warre and on the verso of Ff3 in The Holy State, both dated 1697. A few ink scribbles on blank verso of leaf A8, facing folding map.
A bit of light edge-wear and toning to frontispiece, engraved title page of The Holy State trimmed a little shorter than text block; text with occasional light marginal dampstaining. Binding a bit rubbed but sound. A very good copy of the best edition of these works.