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Of the Imitation of Christ. [with] Soliloquium

Of the Imitation of Christ. [with] Soliloquium by A KEMPIS, Thomas; Thomas Rogers (1847)

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Author: A KEMPIS, Thomas; Thomas Rogers
Title: Of the Imitation of Christ. Three, Both for Wisedome, and Godliness, most Excellent Books [bound with] Soliloquium Animae: The Sole-talke of the Soule
Year: 1847
Publisher: Printed for the Company of Stationers [and] H[umphrey] Lownes and R Young
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
Price: £950
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Stamped seventeenth century binding with the owner’s initials, ‘A N’ on Thomas Rogers’s English translation of the Imitatio together with a second imprint, the Soliloquium.

Contemporary full calf binding with the gilt initials ‘A N’ to the centre of both boards, divided by a floral device. Double blind fillet to boards and horizontal lines blind-tooled to spine. Old holes for leather ties, now absent. The leather is cracked along the outer hinges but the binding is sound and robust if worn. Faded red edges to the text block. The first blank flyleaf is partially detached and holed; a seventeenth century devotional ownership inscription appears on the second blank, quoting Psalm 50: ‘Call uppon me.. in the times of trouble Psa’. Below it around a century later is written: ‘Eliz. Whichcot’s book 1728’. Two small holes to the title page. Both works collate complete, the Imitation beginning with the frontispiece woodcut, A1, small closed tear coming in from foreedge and one small hole: [48] pp 277 [11]. The Soliloquium of 1628 is preceded by a blank as called for: [12] pp 123 [actually 223] [5]. Faults noted during collation: Imitation: p3 closed tear from foreedge and similar at pp.87 and 263; Soliloquium, lower outer corner missing at p19, probably paper fault not affecting text. Quite extensive early reading marks, mostly marginal crosses, to the first few gatherings including a pretty manicule at B8v. Both imprints are scarce: ESTC locates 8 copies of the Imitation and 6 of the Soliloquium.

Rogers’s translation of A Kempis was much the most influential English edition up until the Civil War and helped maintain the accessibility of this text to Protestant readers. It is striking that the Imitation could remain a vital text both to the Protestant reformers and to their Catholic and even Jesuit counterparts.
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