Octavo, two volumes (190 x 120 mm. each), nineteenth century half calf, marbled paper boards, spine with gilt ruled compartments, gilt titles. With frontispiece engraved portrait of William Camden by M. V. Gucht in volume 2, typographic title pages to both volumes, pp. (34), 466, (2); (4), (paginated 467-822), (2), 103, (5), with 61 engraved maps. With first title page laid down, otherwise in good condition.
The origin of this small two volume edition of William Camden’s Britannia is laid out in the Preface. ‘The last Edition of our Author, Publish’d by the Ingenious Mr. Gibson, met with that Acceptance in the World as might be expected: But it being a very large Volume, and, upon account of its Maps and other Sculptures, unavoidably high in its Price, it was thought it might be of Publick Use, to Publish an Abridgement of this Author …’ To enable this the text was drawn from the Latin text of Regner Vitellius from the edition of Willem Blaeu published in Amsterdam in 1617. This edition was printed by J. Brockwell and included the series of maps by John Seller first published in the ‘Anglia Contracta’. The bibliographies call for 60 maps but in this example a map of the Isle of Wight is included in the chapter on Hampshire. It is interesting to note that John Seller’s junior at first shared his premises with a printer called Richard Wilde. It is possible that Richard Wilde and Joseph Wild the printer here are related. Provenance: private English collection. Chubb (1927) 120; ESTC T110653; Hodson (1984-97) no. 122, pp. 123-4; Shirley (2004) T.Camd 6a; Skelton (1970) 122; Tyacke (1978) p. 140; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).