This is the first printing of John Milton’s “The History of Britain, That part especially now call’d England, From the first Traditional Beginning, continu’d to the Norman Conquest”, six books (380 pages) in one, plus index and errata page, published at the Rose and Crown in 1670 for James Allestry.
This copy has been recovered by Rivière and Sons (as indicated by their gilt name at the base of the front inside cover) in red morocco, with extensive gilt lettering and design. This re-done cover is in fine condition.
The front inside cover has three indications of previous ownership: the bookplates of the inventor Ross Winans (1796-1877), the lawyer-philanthropist Bronson Winthrop (1863-1944), and that of Robert Ludlow Fowler.
There are no other stamps or attachments. There is a faded margin note to page 183, and several pencil notes to the end pages. The only printing flaw is to the spread 142-143, which is noted as 140-141, the same as the preceding spread. The text to the mis-numbered spread is as it should be, proceeding from the final word of 141 and finishing, on the following page, with the word that is followed on page 144.
The book is clean overall, with most pages unstained, but with various light stains and, toward the final pages, more notable stains and a few small burn spots. The burns are superficial, with no burned-through pages or obscured text . The binding is tight throughout, with no loose or missing pages. One leaf, pages 1-2, has a small piece missing from the upper outside corner (see photo). I believe this is the only such flaw.
The frontispiece portrait of Milton is in excellent condition. The page edges, gilt all around, have a few scuffs, but no notable stains or fade.
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