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JOHNSON, Richard (1573--1659?).
[The most famous history of the seauen champions of Christendome. 1740]
The renowned history of the seven champions of Christendom; St. George of England, St. Denis of France, St. James of Spain, St. Anthony of Italy, St. Andrew of Scotland, St. Patrick of Ireland, and St. David of Wales. Shewing, their memorable and glorious battles by sea and land: their tilts, justs and tournaments for ladies: their combats with gyants, monsters, and dragons: their adventures in foreign nations: their enchantments in the Holy-Land: their knighthoods, prowess and chivalry, in Europe, Africa and Asia: with their victories over the enemies of Christ. Also, the true manner and place of their deaths, being seven tragedies; and how they came to be called the seven saints or champions of Christendom.
London: printed for and sold by the booksellers of London and Westminster, 1740.
84, 83--201, 204--304 p. ; 24.5 cm. (4° in 2s)

Anonymous. By Richard Johnson, of whom little is known. The first part of Johnson's prose romance telling the story of the seven major patron saints of Europe was first published in 1596 as The most famous history of the seauen champions of Christendome, with the second part following in 1597. The seven short chapters describing the deaths of the saints 'by the first Author' were first added to the third edition of 1616, and the third part was first published in 1686 by 'W.W.' who has been identified as William Winstanley (d. 1698). The work, described in the ODNB as 'a heady mix of romance, adventure, Christian crusading high-mindedness, and misogynist, vindictive, and racially directed violence', was hugely popular with dozens of editions, abridgments and adaptations published by the end of the eighteenth century. (See ODNB s.v. Johnson). The present edition may have been issued in 76 numbers of two leaves each as indicated in the signature lines; the register is continuous. Pages 49, 85--203 are misnumbered 45, 83--201. Part 2 begins on p. 114 and part 3 on p. [205]; the British Library copy described in ESTC (accessed 12 May 2012) ends with part 2. ESTC t118104.

Binding C18th calf, gilt double-ruled borders and spine, paper spine-label, ink-lettered 'The / seven / Champi-/ ons'.

Reference Number 1490


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