London: J. Bowyer, et al. 1718. First edition in English. Hardcover. First edition in English. 8vo. (ii),cxi,(xvii),401,(lv)pp. In a lovely full morocco early twentieth century binding by the French Binders. spine in six compartments, gilt' gilt inner dentelles; all edges gilt. A fine copy.
Geoffrey's Historia dates from the 12th century and purports to be a history of Britain from its first settlement by Brutus to the death of Cadwallader in the 7th century. In contains one of the earliest developed narratives of King Arthur and dwells on Merlin and his prophecies. Originally written in Latin, this is the first translation into English, made by Aaron Thompson, who provides a lengthy preface giving his views on the authenticity of the History. Thompson based his translation on the Heidelberg edition of 1587; J. A. Giles later updated it in his edition of 1848. Scarce, and the earliest edition of Geoffrey in English.
The French Binders (1918-1920s) began as the Rowfant Bindery (1909-1913) then became the Booklover's Shop (191401917). As this copy is signed French Binders, we can date the binding to 1918 or early 1920s.
. Fine. Item #20708