May 05, 2022 - Sale 2603

Sale 2603 - Lot 87

Price Realized: $ 8,125
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 5,000
Elyot, Sir Thomas (1490?-1546)
The Image of Governaunce Compiled of the Actes and Sentences Notable of the Most Noble Emperour Alexander Severus.

London: Thomas Berthelet, 1549.

Third edition, small octavo, title printed within architectural woodcut border, text in black letter; bound in full contemporary dark brown English calf with large blind-tooled lozenges on each board, pastedowns are recycled musical manuscript leaves on parchment in red, blue, and black; rebacked, lacking ties, corners repaired; extensive contemporary English manuscript notes throughout (an imperfect attempt at washing them away in the first two signatures only), final blank completely covered with marginalia (comprising a biography of Alexander Severus); with a Quaritch collation note ("collated & complete") in pencil on last leaf; 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 in.

In Writing Under Tyranny: English Literature and the Henrician Reformation, Greg Walker writes that, The Image of Governance, "far from being a straightforward life of an ideal emperor, is actually a complex, bitter, and at times savagely satirical rumination on princely power and its perversions, probably prompted at least in part by the fall of Elyot's patron and friend Thomas Cromwell. Many of the details highlighted in the text seem designed to comment upon contemporary events and Henry's slide into tyranny in the course of the 1530s."

STC 7666; ESTC S111496.

From the Ken Rapoport Collection.