A Most Excellent Hystorie, of the Institution and Firste Beginning of Christian Princes and the originall of kingdomes: whereunto is annexed a treatise of peace and warre, and another of the dignitie of mariage. Very necessarie to be red, not only of all nobilitie and gentlemen, but also of euery publike persone. First written in Latin by Chelidonius Tigurinus, after translated into French by Peter Bouaisteau of Naunts in Brittaine, and now englished by James Chillester, Londoner. Seen and allowed according to the order appointed.
London: Printed by H. Bynneman, 1571.
London: Printed by H. Bynneman, 1571. First English language edition. A translation of L'histoire de Chelidonius Tigurinus sur l'institution des princes chrestiens, & origine des royaumes by Pierre Boaistuau. With the prologue, A Treatise of Peace and War and Of the Dignitie of Mariage all by Boaistuau. Small quarto (180 mm x 137 mm). , 199, [1, blank] pp. With large engraved initials, head and tail pieces and publisher's imprint. Title-page in an elaborate woodcut border and on the verso of the title-page is a woodcut coat of arms of Elizabeth I. Printed in black letter.
Beautifully bound in full paneled calf. Boards ruled in blind and gilt. Front and back board with a gilt central device and gilt flower motif in the corners. Spine stamped and ruled in gilt. Previous owner's old ink signature on front free endpaper. Old ink notes to title-page, dedication page and a few other pages, not affecting text. minor ink stain to leaf J4. A small corner tear to leaf A3, not affecting text. A tiny wormhole to final five leaves, barely affecting text. Some occasional dampstaining. Old ink notes to blank verso of final leaf. Overall a very good copy.
"This work was first published in Paris in 1556, under the pseudonym of Tigurinus Chelidonius; it is in fact authored by Pierre Boaistuau (1517-1566), a French humanist. It is a translation of a Latin guide to princes on the powers of the monarchy entitled L'institution des Princes Chrestiens which Boaistuau was asked to translate into French" (Middle Temple Library; The Art of Disagreeing Badly: Religious Dispute in Early Modern Europe).
What little is known about Boaistuau must be deduced largely from the unreliable testimony which he gives about himself in his own works. Born in the lower middle class of Nantes around 1517, between 1543 and 1550 Boaistuau attended the universities of Poitiers, Valence, and Avignon, where he claims to have studied civil and canon law. In Rome he associated with doctors, which stimulated his interest in the extraordinary and the exceptional, an interest which he further pursued upon returning to Paris where, from 1550, he resumed his scientific research. Boaistuau's first literary work, the little-known Histoire de Chelidonius Tigurinus sur l'institution des princes chrestiens, & origine des royaumes, in the tradition of the miroir du prince, was published in Paris in 1556.
ESTC S104623. (Item #3026)