Early English Printing.- Bale (John)
Illustrium maioris Britanniae scriptorum…, FIRST EDITION, title with engraving of Bale presenting his book to the King, torn at bottom right, paper repair to following 3 leaves, first few gatherings a little wormholed, lacking +4 (including small portrait in the text of John Wycliff) & 3[Q-S]1-4 [addend, colophon and final blank], light browning, occasional spotting, contemporary marginalia, ownership note of W. Billingsleus, 1561 on title head, 18th century calf, edges sprinkled red, rubbed, upper board detached, [STC 1295; W. T. Davies, ‘A Bibliography of John Bale’, 16b; Luborsky & Ingram. Engl. illustrated books, 1536-1603, 1295], 4to, Ipswich [I.E. Wesel: Derick Van Der Straten] for John Overton, 1548.
*** Bale's most important work, the first chronological printed bibliography of British authors and the first complete national bibliography of any country. The compiler partly based his catalogue on the ‘Collectanea and Commentarii’ by John Leland and expanded it while in religious exile in Germany. The arrangement is closely modelled on Trithemius.
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