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Seventeenth-Century Literary Publications

Date range: 17th century

Number of items: 15,000 items (dispersed).

The Library’s holdings encompass most of the landmark publications of 17th-century English literature. Many distinguished authors are represented in first and significant editions. Examples include:

  • Ben Jonson (1572-1637): the first edition of The Workes of Benjamin Jonson (London: W. Stansby, 1616), and the 1640 edition (London: Richard Bishop, 1640); the former is a variant imprint: Printed by W. Stansby and are to be sould by Rich Meighen, with an engraved title-page

  • John Donne (1572-1631): a grangerized copy of the posthumously published Poems (London: John Marriott, 1633)

  • George Herbert (1593-1633): the first edition of The Temple (Cambridge: Thom. Buck, and Roger Daniel, 1633) and the eleventh edition (London: R.S., 1679), which includes an engraved portrait frontispiece and architectural plates

  • Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682): both the unauthorized ([London]: Andrew Crooke, 1642) and first authorized ( [London]: Andrew Crooke,1643) editions of Religio Medici

  • Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679): three issues of the first edition of Leviathan (London, 1651)

  • Izaak Walton (1593-1683): a first edition of his classic discourse on fishing, The Compleat Angler (London: Rich. Marriot, 1653)

  • Samuel Butler (1612-1680): the first authorized edition of parts one (London: Richard Marriot,1663) and two (London: John Martyn and James Allestry, 1664) of Hudibras, and the first edition of part three (London: Simon Miller, 1678)

  • John Dryden (1631-1700): first editions of Absalom and Achitophel (London: J[acob]. T[onson]., 1681) and The Medall: A Satyre against Sedition (London: Jacob Tonson, 1682); a collection of ten of his plays, bound into a single volume, includes four first editions (London, 1669–1678)

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