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Niccolò Machiavelli Printed Works

Date range: 16th-19th centuries

Number of items: 1,000 items (dispersed).

There are just over 200 different editions of the writings of Machiavelli published in the 16th century, and of these thirty-five are available in the Library. Items of considerable rarity in Britain include the Venetian 1541 edition of Libro dellArte della Guerra and the Venetian 1543 edition of the Discorsi.

The Aldine 1540 editions of Il Principe, the Discorsiand the Historieare all held by the library. The 1584 editions of Il Principeand Discorsiand the 1587 edition of Libro dellArte della Guerra, here bound into one volume, carry false Palermo imprints; they were in fact printed surreptitiously in London by John Wolfe, since there was an effective prohibition on Machiavelli’s principal works in Italy between 1554 and 1630.

The Library also holds copies of the first editions in English of Machiavelli’s major works: Peter Whitehorne’s The Arte of Warre(1560), the two translations by Edward Dacres, Machiavel’s Discourses(1636), and Nicholas Machiavel’s Prince(1640).

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