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Rare work on the political history of England written for King James I's son
by a famous antiquary and politician

COTTON, Sir Robert Bruce.
Warrs with forregin[!] princes dangerous to our Common-Wealth: or reasons for forreign wars answered. With a list of all the confederates from Henry the first reign to the end of Queen Elizabeth. Proving that the kings of England alwayes preferred unjust peace before the justest warre.
London, William Shears, 1657.
Including: [COTTON, Sir Robert Bruce]. The French charity; written in French by an English gentleman, upon occasion of Prince Harcourt's coming to England; and translated into English by F.S.J.E.
London, William Shears, 1655. Small 8vo. Woodcut head- and tailpieces & initials. Contemporary calf. [2], 96; [2], 10 pp.
€ 1,950
Rare first edition (here in the 1657 issue, but first published in 1655) of a political history of England written in 1610 by the famous antiquary and politician Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1571-1631). Although the title-page names no author, he signs the text on G8v: "Robert Cotton Bruceus" and The French charity, added with a separate title-page as a sort of appendix, has also been attributed to him. Although The French charity is not named on the present title-page, it was named on the 1655 title-page and is clearly intended as part of the edition. Cotton wrote this political history of Great Britain in 1610 at the request of King James I for the education of his sixteen-year-old son, the Crown Prince Henry, Prince of Wales, who died two years later.
In 1657 he reissued it with a cancel title-page (still under Oliver Cromwell, but now referring to the state as the "Commonwealth", a term now usually reserved for the period before 1653) and in some copies also a frontispiece portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh (not present here). Cromwell had secured a declaration of war against Spain on 15 October 1655, and perhaps for that reason the 1657 title-page changes the tome with regard to war, suggesting that kings were too often preferred an unjust peace to a just war. Further editions appeared after the Restoration under various titles. The translator of The French charity (not known to have been published in the original French), described as "F.S.J.E.", has been supposed to be John Evelyn, but the "F.S." remains puzzling (Evelyn became a Fellow of the Royal Society only in 1663, and the Society was not established until the Restoration in 1660). Cotton was an avid collector of books, manuscripts, coins and antiquities. His Cottonian Library contained the richest collection of manuscripts ever assembled by a private person. The collection now resides in the British Library.
Spine damaged; binding rubbed. Lacking the cancel-title and portrait. Otherwise in good condition. ESTC R221452; Wing 6505.
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