ESSAYES OR MORALL, POLITIKE, AND MILITARIE DISCOURSES... Whereunto is Now Newly Added an Index of the Principall Matters and Personages Mentioned in This Booke [Translated by John Florio]

(London: Printed by M. Flesher for Rich Royston, 1632).

A CORNERSTONE WORK IN PRINTING AND THE MIND OF MAN, ONE OF THE GREAT BOOKS, AND AN IMPORTANT EDITION. This is an uncommonly handsome copy of this work. This third edition was the first to include the highly useful index. Florio's was the first translation of Montaigne into English, and remains among the best-known because of its beautiful language. The Montaigne translation is considered Florio's magnum opus.
Montaigne was one of the great European intellectuals of the 16th century and is often credited with being the father of the modern essay. His works were of great influence to Descartes, Pascal, Bacon and Swift. Later in America, Ralph Waldo Emerson and his fellow transcendentalists would be highly influenced by Montaigne.
Montaigne wrote these essays during a most calamitous period in European history, and to which he frequently calls attention. The religious and civil confusion resulting from the break up of Christian unity in Europe, the frequently violent disturbances which followed Luther's challenge to Papal authority at the start of the sixteenth century, the constant religious and political fighting throughout Europe as different peoples and groups tried to establish or reestablish their authority was exacerbated still more by the shattering of the devout religious confidence which had been observed so perfectly in Hildegard and Dante. This awesome conflict on the continent was not resolved until 1648.
Montaigne’s Essays evoke to the highest level, the struggle of the intellectual in this cathartic period. And one essay in particular is especially important in the history of English theatre for “the Canniballs” is credited with being a primary influence for William Shakespeare’s TEMPEST. Item #26503

Early printing of this great work, the third of Florio's translation, with the scarce A1 leaf printed on the verso only, "To the beholder of this title." This is the First Edition to contain the "Index of the Principall Matters" and the first to contain the Droeshout engraved architectural title-page. Engraved architectural title-page by Martin Droeshout, decorative woodcut headpieces and capitals throughout. Folio, bound in contemporary paneled calf, the covers with central panel blind ruled and rolled, the spine with raised bands, tan morocco lettering label gilt. [1, Beholder of the This Title], title, [1], Engraved title,[10], 631, [12 Table or Index] pp. collated complete as called for. A handsome and well preserved copy in its original contemporary antique binding, the book crisp and clean throughout with occasional and very minor age evidence, the "To the Beholder of This Title" leaf laid down, the binding sturdy and very well preserved and in quite pleasing condition showing authentic age, the hinges sometime refurbished incorporating all of the original materials.

Price: $8,500.00