The British History, Translated into English from the Latin of Jeffrey of Monmouth
London: J. Bowyer, et al. 1718. First edition in English. Hardcover. Fine. Item #21287 .
8vo. (ii),cxi,(xvii),401,(lv)pp. Recent full morocco, gilt spine title, marbled endpapers. The List of Subscribers is present (including Isaac Newton). A fine copy. With the illlustrated bookplate of Thomas Bowman Whytehead. Possibly a large paper copy as the margine are very generous.
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.