London: M. Flesher for Richard Mynne, 1635. Second edition in English. Released one year after the extremely scarce first edition in English. Bound to style in full calf with gilt to spine and boards. Edges stained red. Measuring 180 x 135mm and collating , 27, [1, blank], 209, [1, blank], 52, : complete, including the folding plate so often missing from first and second edition copies. Contemporary ownership signature to header of A2 and marginal repair to the fore-edge of the same; occasional foxing or marginal ink staining not affecting text; in all, a pleasing copy. ESTC notes 8 copies in U.S. institutions (and 9 of the first in English), with the present being more accessible for most collectors' price points than the 1634 first edition.
Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius is perhaps best known for his Meditations -- a combined biography and world philosophy that continues influencing political and social thought today. "The extent to which he intended these writings for eyes other than his own are uncertain; they are fragmentary notes, discursive and epigrammatic by turn, of his reflections in the midst of campaigning and administration. In a way, it seems he wrote them to nerve himself for his most daunting responsibilities" (Britannica). Appearing for the first time in English in 1634, the Emperor's words became accessible to those who did not have the privilege of attending England's Latin grammar schools; and the work became an intellectual and cultural touch stone for those interested in high brow politics as well as the Southwark entertainments of Shakespeare and his brethren.
ESTC S101510. (Item #4381)