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KNOLLES, Richard (1550?--1610)
The generall historie of the Turkes, from the first beginning of that nation to the rising of the Othoman familie: with all the notable expeditions of the Christian princes against them. Together with the lives and conqvests of the Othoman kings and emperours written by Richard Knolles, ... With a new continuation from ye yeare of Our Lord 1629 vnto the yeare 1638 faithfully collected. The fift edition.
[London]: printed by Adam Islip, 1638.
[12], 1500, [20], 31, [33] p. : engr. frontis. port., [34] engr. illus. (33 ports.) ; 32.1 cm. (2º)

The title-page is engraved within a decorative architectural frame, signed: Laurence Iohnson, sculpsit. The first edition had appeared in 1603. This fifth edition was revised and brought up to the present date by the dramatist Thomas Nabbes (1605?--1645?). It also includes the earlier updating of the work from 1620 to 1628 'collected out of the papers and despatches of Sr Thomas Rowe ... and since by him revised and corrected' (p. 1397), and was continued in turn by Sir Paul Rycaut's The history of the Turkish Empire from the year 1623. To the year 1677, London, 1680 (q.v.). Knolles spent twelve years on the completion of his great history which is based on Byzantine and western histories, travellers' reports and letters, and material from Leunclavius's recent Latin translation of a late fifteenth-century Ottoman chronicle, and was the first major work on the subject to appear in English. The portraits including some signed by Laurence Johnson, the first seven being dated 1603, are largely taken from Boissard's Vitae et icones sultanorum. 'This book long continued to hold high repute, by reason of the fact that it was written in excellent prose and opened a new field to the English student' (see E.G. Cox, A reference guide to the literature of travel, vol. 1, 1935 [reprinted 1948, 1969], p. 204). Described also as 'the greatest English work of the Renaissance period dealing with Turkey' (see S.C. Chew, The crescent and the rose: Islam and England during the Renaissance, New York 1965, p.111). Includes index. ESTC s112920; STC 15055; Blackmer 920.

Copy Notes Imperfect; wanting initial blank leaf. Bought from Thomas Boone with Rycaut's The history of the Turkish Empire from the year 1623, 1680 (q.v.), the two volumes for 15s., 5 February 1808. (Spiers Box). Front pastedown inscribed in ink by Soane 0/7/6 / This & Ricaut 15s. Armorial bookplate of 'Sir Edward Turnour of Hollingbury in the County of Essex Knight 1705' pasted to verso of the title-page, presumably Sir Edward Turnour [or Turnor] (d. 1721), M.P. for Orford and the son of Sir Edward Turnour (1617--1676), a lawyer who filled numerous offices including speaker of the House of Commons and solicitor-general to the King after the Restoration.

Binding C18th or early C19th tree calf, gilt-ruled spine, red morocco spine-label.

Reference Number 907


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