HOLINSHED, Raphael. [The Chronicles]. The First and Second volumes of Chronicles [-Third Volume…], comprising 1 The descriptions and historie of England, 2 The description and historie of Ireland, 3 The description and historie of Scotland: First collected and published by Raphaell Holinshed, William Harrison, and others: Now newlie augmented and continued… London: [H. Denham] for John Harison, George Bishop, Rafe Newberie, Henrie Denham, and Thomas Woodcocke, 1587.
3 volumes bound in 2, folio (365 x 223mm). Modern calf antique. (Lacking initial blank in Vol. I, and final blanks at the end of Vols. II and III; occasional soiling, marginal staining and small flaws throughout. Vol. I: title-page with some marginal repairs, soiled and laid down; A2-A3 with marginal burn-hole affecting a few letters on former; first 8 leaves with some marginal fraying, creasing & soiling; P6 with marginal paper flaw; 4[super-script]I1 with marginal repair just touching one shoulder note. Vol. II without cancelled leaves 2Q3.4 [supplied in photo-facsimile, see note below]. Vol. III: title-page soiled with pale dampstaining and with small institutional stamp on recto and ink accession number on verso, same stamp appearing on about 6 other leaves throughout volume; 3Q2 with portion of lower blank margin replaced; 5D6 with small hole affecting a few letters; 5T1 with marginal tear slightly crossing text repaired; 5E1 with lower blank corner renewed; some other pale marginal dampstaining and soiling; some early marginalia at beginning of Vol I. Provenance: John Thompson (early signatures on title of Vol. I); early unidentified signature on title of Vol. III; William Bromley of Baginton in the County of Warwicke (armorial bookplate preserved in Vol. I); Nottingham Reference Library (bookplate in Vol. I & small ink stamps in Vol. II).
Second edition, revised and expanded from the 1577 First Edition, of the great Elizabethan narrative history used by Shakespeare as a main source for many of his plays.
The textual history of this second edition is particularly complex, with most copies bearing cancels in Vols. II & III following censorship by the Elizabethan authorities who ordered the removal of politically sensitive. According to DNB there were three stages in the castrations and revisions, and consequently copies survive with various states of cancels, variant cancels and original leaves. The present copy conforms with ESTC, except without the cancel leaf paginated 421 (recto) and 424 (verso) replacing leaves 2Q3.4 in Vol. II (the originals here supplied in photo-facsimile). ESTC S122178; STC 13569.
[With:] A bound volume containing an 18th-century reprinting of the castrated leaves. Folio, late 18th-century sheep-backed calf (worn). Provenance: Richard Laurence Pemberton (signature on front flyleaf and armorial bookplate); Prinknash Abbey (bookplate).