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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  A true & faithful relation of what passed for many yeers between Dr. John Dee (a mathematician of great fame in Q. Eliz. and King James their reignes) and some spirits; tending (had it succeeded) to a general alteration of most states and kingdomes in the world. His private conferences with Rodolphe Emperor of Germany, Stephen K. of Poland, and divers other princes about it. The particulars of his cause, as it was agitated in the Emperors court; by the Popes intervention: his banishment, and restoration in part. As also the letters of sundry great men and princes (some whereof were present at some of these conferences and apparitions of spirits:) to the said D. Dee. Out of the original copy, written with Dr. Dees own hand; kept in the Library of Sir Tho. Cotton, Kt. Baronet. With a preface confirming the reality (as to the point of spirits) of this relation: and shewing the several good uses that a sober Christian may make of all. By Meric. Casaubon, D.D.
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DEE, John (1527--1608)
A true & faithful relation of what passed for many yeers between Dr. John Dee (a mathematician of great fame in Q. Eliz. and King James their reignes) and some spirits; tending (had it succeeded) to a general alteration of most states and kingdomes in the world. His private conferences with Rodolphe Emperor of Germany, Stephen K. of Poland, and divers other princes about it. The particulars of his cause, as it was agitated in the Emperors court; by the Popes intervention: his banishment, and restoration in part. As also the letters of sundry great men and princes (some whereof were present at some of these conferences and apparitions of spirits:) to the said D. Dee. Out of the original copy, written with Dr. Dees own hand; kept in the Library of Sir Tho. Cotton, Kt. Baronet. With a preface confirming the reality (as to the point of spirits) of this relation: and shewing the several good uses that a sober Christian may make of all. By Meric. Casaubon, D.D.
London: printed by D. Maxwell for T. Garthwait, and sold at the little north door of S. Pauls, and by other stationers, 1659.
[78], 104, 109--256, 353--448, 45, [1] p., frontis., [3] pl. (metal-cut): illus.; 32.9 cm. (2º)

John Dee, mathematician, natural philosopher, scholar and occultist, was attached to the court of Elizabeth I and involved as a scientific advisor in the great voyages of exploration; his library at Mortlake was one of the largest English private libraries of the day, containing over 4000 books and manuscripts. The True and faithful relation was edited posthumously with a hostile preface by Meric Casaubon, building on Dee's negative reputation as a necromancer. It describes Dee's 'actions' or 'angelic conversations' conducted between 1582 and 1589 with his medium Edward Kelley (whose initials, E.K., appear throughout the text) in large part undertaken during travels in Poland, Prague and Germany. The first leaf (pi1) is an engraved frontispiece of portraits captioned 'The Order of the Inspirati' and signed 'Fran: Cleyn invent'. The preliminary leaves are signed: pi2 A-E4 F-I2 K4 *6. With [1] page of errata at the end end of the contents leaves. '1587. Actio tertia' (caption title) begins new pagination on leaf *3A1r. Wing D811; ESTC r11048.

Copy Notes In this copy the contents leaves (signed *) are bound at the end of the text. With the name of Meric Casaubon on the title-page annotated in ink Son of Isaac, and the errata corrected in ink. On the evidence of the binding, this is the copy of 'Dee's Works folio Green Mor:' purchased from T. & W. Boone on 19 April 1822 for £3. (Priv. Corr. XVI.E.4.5). There is a later bill in the archive from T. & W. Boone dated 11 April 1829, offering Soane the copy sold at George Hibbert's sale (q.v.), lot 2502, in a binding described in the sale catalogue as 'blue morocco, gilt leaves by Derome', at the price of £4 16s. (Spiers Box). However, there is no evidence that Soane bought a second copy.

Binding C19th green morocco, gilt triple-ruled borders, gilt-tooled floral decorations on spine and turn-ins, spine-title reading 'Jean Dees Works'.

Reference Number 491


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