With 116 Woodcuts
BARCLAY, Alexander. BRANT, Sebastian. [Ship of Fooles]. Stultifera nauis, qua omnium mortalium narratur stultitia, admodum vtilis & necessaria ab omnibus ad suam salutem perlegenda, Latino sermone in nostrum vulgarem versa, & iam diligenter impressa. An. Do. 1570. The Ship of Fooles, wherin is shewed the folly of all states with diuers other workes adioyned vnto the same, very profitable and fruitfull for all men. Translated out of Latin into Englishe by Alexander Barclay priest. London in Paules Church: John Cawood , 1570].
Second edition in English, the first obtainable English edition. (No complete copy of the first edition has been at auction in the past 75 years. One incomplete copy was at auction on 1975). Folio in sixes (10 1/2 x 7 1/4 inches; 270 x 185 mm). [12], 259, [3], [42, Mirrour], [24, Egloges] leaves. Present copy collated the same as Pforzheimer. Printed in black letter. With 116 woodcuts in the text and a woodcut on the title-page. "There are 116 woodcuts in the text of which 8 are repeated twice and 1 once. These illustrations are from the blocks cut for Pynson's edition, 1509 and, with the exception of two or three are very well preserved." (Pforzheimer 41).

"In the present edition the Balade of our Lady which concluded the 1509 edition is omitted, while the verses excusing rudeness of the translation are transposed from beginning to end. " (Pfozheimer, 41). After the text of Ship of Fooles, this edition contains signatures A1-G6 The Mirrour of Good Maners and signatures A1-D6 the Egloges of Alexander Barclay. "The present is of considerable interest and value because of the Eglogues appended, the original editions of which are exceedingly rare." (Pforzheimer, 41).

Full seventeenth century calf, rebacked with original spine laid down. Red calf spine label, lettered in gilt. All edges speckled red. Newer endpapers. A bit of rubbing to boards and edges. Occasional marginal dampstaining. Overall a very good copy.

"According to Professor A.W. Ward, the popularity of this book may be safely asserted to have greatly exceeded that of any other didactic poem- the species of literature to which it belongs- ever written in a European tongue." (Pforzheimer 41)

"His [Barclay's] stay at Ottery was brief but notable for the production of his first major work, The Ship of Fools, the translation of Sebastian Brant's Narrenschiff (1494) into English verse. It was printed in London in December 1509 (when Barclay had left the college) by Richard Pynson, who published most of the author's subsequent works. Barclay embellished his translation with copious additions. He dedicated it to Thomas Cornish, warden of the college and suffragan bishop in the diocese of Exeter, who may have been responsible for bringing him to Ottery, and included complimentary references to Henry VIII, Sir John Kirkham of Paignton, Devon, and John Bishop, rector of St Paul's Church, Exeter. The work enabled him to mount attacks on a range of contemporary social groups and practices: attacks which accord with traditions of social criticism going back to the fourteenth century, while reflecting some of the concerns of humanist writers in the early sixteenth. His targets included fond parents and ungrateful children, inconstant and evil women, all who wore extravagant clothes, pluralist clergy, ignorant gentlemen, avaricious merchants, corrupt lawyers and physicians, riotous servants, and sturdy undeserving beggars. He also took the opportunity to settle some private scores. The secondary clerks of the college were singled out for their unwillingness to learn, the neighbouring parish clergy for ignorance and worldliness, and a group of named men of Ottery (who appear to have been ordinary laity) for being frauds and thieves. The work shows a sympathy with humanist Latin, and criticizes those attached to the medieval grammar of Alexander of Ville-Dieu rather than to the works of Priscian and the Renaissance grammarian Giovanni Sulpizio." (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).

ESTC S107135 . Pforzheimer 41.

HBS # 66565 $40,000