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Fine Books and Manuscripts Lot 78


[GREAT 'HE' BIBLE, THE EXTREMELY RARE FIRST EDITION FIRST ISSUE OF THE KING JAMES 1611 FOLIO BIBLE] - THE HOLY BIBLE, CONTEYNING THE OLD TESTAMENT, AND THE NEW. Newly Translated out of the Originall Tongues & with the former Translations diligently Compared and Revised by His Maiesties Speciall Commandement, Appointed to be read in Churches. London: Robert Barker, 1611. Royal folio (15.75 x 10.25 in.; 40 x 26 cms). Lacks the first title and 6 prelim leaves as well as K3-K4 in the N.T., and the final leaf Z6, this copy issued without the genealogical tables and map (inserted before Genesis in some copies), some damp-staining and soiling in parts, lower right-hand corner of leaves are generally thinned/creased and sometimes torn or repaired, occasionally with loss of some text, title page to the New Testament present and within a woodcut compartment, spine has gone and stitching broken with some signatures now loose, boards detached and all leather now missing. A substantially complete copy, the main body of text lacking just the 3 leaves in the New Testament. [Full condition report available on request].The editio princeps of the King James, or Royal, version of the Bible, "the only literary masterpiece ever to have been produced by a committee". It was royally commissioned, in the hopes of reconciling conflicts between the Bishops' Bible, officially read in services, and the Geneva Bible, much more popular among the laity, but mistrusted within much of the Church hierarchy as being aggressively radical, especially in its annotations. Two editions or impressions of the lectern-size King James Bible were printed close together, and their relative priorities were long disputed. They are most easily distinguished as the "He" Bible and "She" Bible, according to their readings at Ruth 3:15. The first edition/first impression, as here, ends "and he went into the citie", whilst the later version reads "and she went". The following errors are also present in our copy, conforming to other known 'He' Bibles (see Darlow and Moule/Herbert: Historical Catalogue of the Printed Editions of the English Bible, ref 309): Exodus xiv. 10 has three lines repeated; Genesis x. 16 has 'Emorite' for 'Amorite'; Exodus xxxviii. 11 has 'hoopes' for 'hookes'; Lev. xiii. 56 has 'plaine' for 'plague'; headline on Gggg2 b has 'Joel' for 'Micah' (with old manuscript correction); Xxxx3 b has 'Ecclesiasticus' for 'Baruch'; headline on Iiii6 a has 'Anocrynha' for 'Apocrypha'. Provenance: from the library of St John's College, Nottingham (founded as the London College of Divinity in 1863, and with their 19th century bookplate to front board)

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