"THE FRUIT OF A SIGNIFICANT LITERARY LIFE": JAMES HOWELL'S POLITICAL ALLEGORY DODONA'S GROVE, 1640 FIRST EDITION
HOWELL, James. Dendrologia. Dodona's Grove, or, the Vocall Forrest. London: by T.B. for H. Mosley, 1640. Folio (8 by 11-1/2 inches), contemporary full speckled calf rebacked, raised bands. $1750.
First edition of this political allegory, with engraved frontispiece illustration, engraved vignette title page, and two engraved plates of trees.
"Howell has not had a modern biographer but his many works in verse and prose were the fruit of a significant literary life stretching from the end of England's Renaissance to the very different age ushered in with the Restoration. Howell's career and thought have never been fully appreciated… Howell began his literary career in earnest in 1640 with the political allegory Dendrologia?: Dodona's Grove, or, The Vocall Forest, an account of events since 1603; on travelling to France in that year he took with him his own French translation of the book, which was published at Paris… [He was] one of the earliest English writers to have earned his living almost solely from the proceeds of his pen" (ODNB). "This political allegory was several times reprinted and was translated into French and Latin" (Pforzheimer). "The author has shadowed forth some of the principal incidents in the history of Europe, 1603-40" (Lowndes). STC 13872. Pforzheimer 512. Lowndes, 1129. Bookplate of Sir Walter Halsey's renowned Gaddesden Library, much of which was dispersed in 1932. Occasional ink marginalia in a neat hand; four pages of manuscript annotations, providing a key to the allegory, bound in at rear. Manuscript note, dated 1942, from a bookseller offering another copy of the same title laid in.
Text quite clean. A wide-margined, near-fine copy.