London: J. Bowyer, et al. 1718. First edition in English. Hardcover. Fine. Item #22296 .
8vo. (ii),cxi,(xvii),401,(lv)pp. In a lovely contemporary binding of sprinkled panelled,calf. The spine is in six compartments, gilt, red morocco lettering label, gilt. The errata page is present in the rear. The List of Subscribers is present (including Isaac Newton). Spine tips neatly restored, hole to title page with loss of a few letters, pp. xlv/xlvi with small chip and small chip at head slightly affecting letters, otherwise contents fresh and binding in very good condition.
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.