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Price: £1,999.99

  

All The Works of John Taylor

The Water Poet

Beeing sixty and three in number. Collected into one volume by the author: vvith sundry new additions, corrected, reuised, and newly imprinted, 1630.

In Six volumes

1630 - London - Printed for J. B.

11" x 7.5", 120; 121-148; 1-14, 13-38, 41-46; 47-132; 133-144, 225-343; [2] 93, 92-170pp

 

DETAILS

Six volumes bound in half leather with marble paper covered boards.

Exquisitely illustrated with woodcut engravings, head and tail pieces and illuminated letters.

Very scarce.

The pagination is incomplete.

ESTC lists the pagination as [12], 148, [2], 93, 92-200, 225-343, [1], 14, 13-146 pp.

These volumes contain no title page and have been bound out of sequence. The first section is complete in two volumes. The last section is bound next in Vols 3, 4 and 5, and is missing leaf Ddd3 (p39-40) and the final page (p145-6). Volume 6 has the first 170 pages of the second section. Pages 170-200 are not present. The final pagination of the second section (225-343) is bound at the end of Volume 5.

John Taylor (1578 - 1653) was an English poet who dubbed himself "The Water Poet".

He was born in Gloucester. After his waterman apprenticeship he served (1596) in Essex's fleet, and was present at Flores in 1597 and at the siege of Cadiz.

He spent much of his life as a Thames waterman, a member of the guild of boatmen that ferried passengers across the River Thames in London, in the days when the London Bridge was the only passage between the banks. He became a member of the ruling oligarchy of the guild, serving as its clerk; it is mainly through his writings that history is familiar with the watermen's disputes of 1641-42, in which an attempt was made to democratize the leadership of the Company. He details the uprisings in the pamphlets Iohn Taylors Manifestation ... and To the Right Honorable Assembly ... (Commons Petition), and in John Taylors Last Voyage and Adventure of 1641.

Taylor discusses the watermen's disputes with the theatre companies (who moved the theaters from the south bank to the north in 1612, depriving the ferries of traffic) in The True Cause of the Watermen's Suit Concerning Players (written in 1613 or 1614). He also addresses the coachmen, in his tracts An Errant Thief (1622) and The World Runnes on Wheeles (1623).

He was a prolific, if rough-hewn, (wit rather than poet), writer with over one hundred and fifty publications in his lifetime. Many were gathered into the compilation All the Workes of John Taylor the Water Poet (London, 1630). Although his work was not sophisticated, he was a keen observer of people and styles in the seventeenth century, and as such his work is often studied by social historians. One example is his 1621 work Taylor's Motto, which included a list of then-current card games and diversions.

On a note of trivia, Taylor is one of the few early authors of a palindrome that can be credited as such: in 1614, he wrote "Lewd did I live, & evil I did dwel." He also wrote a poem about Thomas Parr, a man who supposedly lived to the age of 152. He was also the author of a constructed language called Barmoodan.

CONDITION

The bindings are tight and firm. There is very little wear to the extremities. The title pages are missing, as well as the pages mentioned above. Internally the pages are generally clean although age-toned with the occasional handling mark and odd spot, and water staining to the edges of a few pages.  A few pages have ink annotations and the occasional small ink stain. A few pages have numbers written in ink at the top. Some of the bindings have been cut very close at the edge resulting in slight loss to the edges of the woodcuts of the kings and queens on pages 298-320 of Volume 5 and also loss to a few letters of text at the edge of pages 297, 303, 307, 311, and 315. There is similar loss to the very edge of the first letters of each line on page 150 of Volume 6. There are some small repairs to the edges of a few pages in Volume 6, but this does not affect the text. There are small rubber stamp marks to the front pastedowns. Overall the volumes are in good only condition.

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