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HEAD, Richard (1637?--1686?)
[English rogue. Part 1]
The English rogue described, in the life of Meriton Latroon; a witty extravagant: comprehending the most eminent cheats of both sexes.
London: printed for Francis Kirkman, 1672.
[8], 176, 17--64, 225--288, 113--128, [1 i.e '726'], 268--282, 145--160, 1--127, [1] p. : engr. port., [1] pl. ; 15.9 cm. (8º)

Anonymous. By Richard Head. Register is continuous despite pagination; text apparently continuous. The first part of a picaresque work of fiction based upon his early life but drawing on other sources sometimes to the point of plagiarism, first published by Henry Marsh in 1665 and reissued after his death by Francis Kirkman, who signs the preface. The publication history is complicated: the printers were threatened with imprisonment for indecency and all extant editions appear to have been expurgated. By 1668 The English rogue had reached its fifth edition and Kirkman pressed Head to write a continuation, but was turned down. A second part probably written by Kirkman was nevertheless 'licensed Feb. 22. 1668' and the earliest extant edition, was published in 1671 (q.v.); the authorship of the third and fourth parts, first published in the same year, was probably shared, although Head denied this in the preface to his Proteus redivivus: or the art of wheedling, 1675 (1679 ed., q.v.). With an engraved portrait following the title-page, and an engraved plate following the preface with caption 'The English Padder or Hiway Robber Portrayd'. ESTC r216594.

Copy Notes With the portrait bound as a frontispiece to face the title-page and the plate facing p. 1 of the main text. The Soane copy is part of a uniformly bound mixed set, with the 1671 edition of part 2 (q.v.), the 1674 edition of part 3 (q.v.) and the 1680 edition of part 4 (q.v.). Title-page inscribed in ink at foot of imprint in an early hand ye and 8, final page [cropped at fore-edge?] 466. Heavily cropped with loss of plate caption.

Binding C19th russia, blind-tooled borders and corner-pieces, blind-tooled spine compartments, gilt-ruled spines, gilt-lettered, marbled edges to match the endpapers. Bound four parts as a set.

Reference Number 4640


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