EARLY EDITION OF LEYCESTERS COMMON-WEALTH, 1641, ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR CONTEMPORARY WORKS INDICTING ELIZABETH I'S GOVERNMENT
PARSONS, Robert. Leycesters Common-wealth: Conceived, Spoken and Published wth Most Earnest Protestation of All Dutifull Good Will and Affection Towards this Realm, for Whole Good Onely, It Is Made Common to Many. [London]: No publisher, 1641. Square octavo, late 19th-century blind-stamped brown calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, red morocco spine labeled, marbled endpapers. $800.
Mid 17th-century edition of this classic political work written in opposition to Elizabeth I's government, specifically indicting Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, for his suspected involvement in his wife's murder plot and his alleged affair with the Queen, with mounted frontispiece portrait, handsomely bound in full calf-gilt by Riviere.
Leycesters Common-wealth, better known by the modernized title Leicester's Commonwealth, is a cutting and astute political tract against corruption in Elizabeth I's government. The author takes on Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, an intimate of Queen Elizabeth, attempting to expose his involvement in his wife's alleged murder. (Dudley's wife Amy Robsart had fallen down the stairs and died horribly. Her suspicious death gave rise to numerous conspiracy theories, many incorporating an affair between Dudley—who had been given the prestigious appointment of Master of the Horse—and the Queen.) The work survived numerous reprints, edits, and adaptations, appearing under many titles and with its intellectual property attributed to many authors. It was first printed on the continent in 1584. It has most often been attributed to Robert Parsons and is sometimes attributed to Thomas Morgan. Mendham 140. Wing L968.
A few spots of foxing to interior. Near-fine condition.