1563 First Edition of Foxe's Book of Martyrs

Foxe, John. Actes and Monuments of these latter and perillous dayes, touching matters of the Church, wherein ar comprehended and described the great persecutions & horrible troubles, that have bene wrought and practiced by the Romishe Prelates, speciallye in this Realme of England and Scotlande, from the yeare of our Lorde a thousande, unto the tyme nowe present. London: Iohn Day, 1563. Large, thick folio, new blindstamped calf; LACKS the general title and 3 of the next 5 preliminary leaves AND the final 5 leaves (the index from 'Ro' and the colophon. Three folding plates are present (at *I5, GGGg6 and XXXx1); (16) 1741 (1) (30)pp

**The text generally is crisp and clean, with good margins, but there are the following relatively minor defects, including a few stains and marginal tears: there is a large hole in the middle of the first leaf present (an almanac & a table for the increasing & decreasing of the dayes of the year) and an extended series of small holes to the following leaf [*ii] (both of these repaired verso); there is substantial fairly light staining to c. page 60; there is worming at the front with numerous single wormholes (not imparing the legibility of the text), approximately 23 on page 1, but rapidly decreasing (7 on page 25, 3 on page 50 and the final hole stopping by page 80); there is a largely marginal tear in C6 is repaired on the verso; the folding plate at *I5 has a small piece torn from its bottom outer corner & *I5 itself has a small paper flaw hole affecting a few letters of text; the bottom outer corner is torn from Aa6, affecting a word or two on 3 lines of text; there is minor worming to the bottom margin between c. pages 900 and 1100; the top outer corner is torn from AAA3, removing some of the woodcut recto and some text verso; there is a small hole in BBB2, removing several letters on 3 lines of text recto and most of one man's head from the woodcut verso; there is a horizontal tear (without loss) through the middle of the outer column; the outer margin is a bit abraded in quire UUU; there is a paper flaw to the bottom outer corner of CCCC2, resulting in a tear into the text, without loss; the blank bottom outer corner is increasingly worn away from about KKKK1, though not affecting text until the last leaf of the index which is still present; there is a light stain in the bottom margin starting about MMMM1 which gradually extends into the inner margin and the bottom of the text toward the rear; there is some worming toward the rear, with a single small wormhole starting at BBB1 (often in the blank space between the two columns of text), but at YYY6 turning into the inner column and often affecting a letter or two of text; there are further single wormholes by page 1350 (4 by IIIi1) and there is worming at the very rear similar to that at the front.

***STC 11222, which observes that "Most copies listed of this and the following editions are imperfect." This is the FIRST EDITION and is at this point very rarely to be found for sale in any condition whatever; the above mentioned defects notwithstanding, still largely a crisp & clean copy with very good margins [few of the editions printed in Foxe's lifetime have survived complete; by contrast, the 3 volume folio editions of the 17th century are often found complete and in fine condition]. Apart from the Bible, perhaps the single most influential English book of the 16th century. $45,000. SOLD

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