“ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL WORKS IN OUR LANGUAGE” (COLERIDGE)
NORTH, Roger. Examen: or an Enquiry into the Credit and Veracity of a Pretended Complete History. London: for Fletcher Gyles, 1740. Quarto, full contemporary brown speckled calf rebacked in period style, raised bands, gilt-decorated spine, gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers. $850.
First edition of this famous and highly influential account of the reign of Charles II.
"When White Kennett's Complete History of England appeared… in 1706, Roger North was greatly disturbed by what he considered to be a perversion of the history of Charles II's reign, and he set himself to compose an elaborate 'Apology' for the king" (DNB). This "Apology" occupied North for many years, ultimately becoming the monumental work that was to be published after his death as the Examen. In addition to being praised for creating a work that is "valuable for the many original anecdotes it contains, and the view it presents of party politics," North has been credited with possessing a particularly entertaining writing style, with Coleridge remarking that "his language gives us the very nerve, pulse, and sinew of a hearty, healthy conversational English" (Lowndes 1703; Allibone 1436). With engraved frontispiece. Bookplate.
Some rubbing to contemporary attractive boards, interior exceptionally bright.