Hard Cover. Londini (London): typis I[ohn]. H[aviland] apud Humphredum Mosley, 1638. Very Good.
First edition printed in England. 16mo. pp. [iv], 182, [iv], lacking the last blank. Contemporary full brown calf, front and rear boards double-ruled in blind, title page with ornate border, additional engraved title with portrait of the author. A very good copy, with early repairs to binding (interior hinges reinforced and with engraved title tipped onto a new leaf, pieces of original leather discreetly re-adhered to spine), wear to extremities and spine, some light dampstaining to fore edge not affecting text, with former owner Alexander Fraser Tytler's armorial bookplate signed "Woodhouselee" to front pastedown, Tytler's ownership signature to title page and occasional faint markings in ink noting line numbers. Presents well overall, a scarce book in an attractive contemporary binding. ESTC S112885, Gibson 58. This volume is the first edition printed in England, and second overall edition, of the epigrams of Saint Thomas More. Known primarily for his book Utopia (1516), More was a notable Renaissance humanist who worked as a counselor to King Henry VIII of England, acknowledged for his opposition to the Protestant Reformation, which earned him both an execution and a canonization (four centuries later) by the Catholic Church. This work contains More's translation of several epigrams - short, satirical verses - first written in Greek by Maximus Plenudes. Originally compiled by the scholar Erasmus and printed in 1518 by Johann Froben in Switzerland as an addition to the text of Utopia, More's epigrams were first printed in this separate edition in 1520. Notably, this 1638 edition is only the second to be published, and contains More's translations of the Greek epigrams written on various biblical, romantic, and mythical themes. Alexander Fraser Tytler was a Scottish judge, writer, and historian, who was appointed as a Lord of Session in the Scottish courts in 1802, under the title Lord Woodhouselee. Tytler worked as a professor of Greek and Roman antiquities at the University of Edinburgh, and was the author of Essay on the Principles of Translation (1791), which became an important piece of translation theory literature.