(Howell, James:)

Epistolae Ho-Elianae. Familiar Letters Domestic and Forren; Divided into Six Sections, Partly: Historicall, Politicall, Philosophicall, Upon Emergent Occasions.

Published: London: printed for Humphrey Moseley

Date: 1645

First edition. Small 4to. (195 x 150mm), pp. [xx], 88, 120, 40, 48, 92, (ii). Lacks additional engraved title-page. Woodcut initials and head- and tail-pieces, a few pencil marks and underlinings, some ms notes in an old hand including dates and sometimes locations appended to the foot of each letter (according to a note in the same hand, added from the 1737 edition). Occasional wax marks not affecting text. 19th-century plum-coloured faux morocco, gilt label to spine, blind-stamped spine and boards, edges sprinkled red, marbled endpapers. Rubbed, edges a bit worn with some fraying to corners, spine label lifting.

Armorial bookplate of Frederick William Cosens to front paste-down, to which is added a ms gift inscription to Allan H. Bright dated 30th May 1891, from H.Y.S.. Armorial bookplate of (Douglas Kinnaird) to title page verso. Tipped to the f.f.e.p., a page of handwritten notes on the content of the book with a brief chronology of Howell’s life in pencil beneath. Also added in pencil at the top of the page, a note that the book was purchased from the Cosens sale through Quaritch for £1.4.6 on 20th November 1890. Relatedly, to the f.f.e.p. verso is a note from the disgruntled collector describing both this purchase of the book and his subsequent discovery of the absence of the engraved title-page.

Frederick William Cosens (1819-1889) was a wine merchant, writer and collector of books and art. His library was so extensive that when it was sold by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge in the winter of 1890 the sale ran over 14 days and comprised 4995 lots. We believe the second bookplate to be that of Douglas Kinnaird (1788-1830) son of George, 7th Lord Kinnaird and a great friend of Byron. He handled Byron’s literary and financial affairs in England after he left in 1816.


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