Tomae Mori Opuscula

Artist More, Thomas
Published Basil. apud Episcopium F. 1563 [Basel, 1563]
Dimensions Octavo (8°). 170 x 110 mm
Notes Full title: Lucubrationes, ab innumeris mendis repurgatae. Utopiae libri II. Progymnasmata. Epigrammata. Ex Lucinao conversa quaedam. Declamatio Lucianicae respondens. Epistolae. Quibus additae sunt duae aliorum Epistolae, de vita, moribus et morte Mori.

The first edition of the collected works in Latin of the English humanist, theologian, diplomat, and martyr, Sir Thomas More. In addition to his political and theological pamphlets, his letters, and a description of More by Erasmus, the volume also contains More's most famous work, Utopia. More's literary caprice is accompanied by a woodcut map of the island of Utopia, closely following the earlier woodcut map by Ambrosius Holbein, the short-lived elder brother of Hans Holbein the Younger. The map acts as a type of memento mori, clearly punning More's name in Latin, with a large sailing ship making up the jaw for the island's skull. A number of places are labelled, including the Utopian capital of Amaurot and the source and mouth of the Anydrus (No-Water) River. In addition to the map, on page 53, the book is also ornamented with woodcut initials, and gilt edges. Still preserved in its original limp vellum, it has been titled along the spine in sepia 'Tomae Mori Opuscula.'

Provenance: Ex libris Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun (1655-1716). Andrew Fletcher was a Scottish political theorist, nationalist, and writer, chiefly remembered for his opposition to the 1707 Act of Union, his role as a commander in the Monmouth Rebellion, and his support for the failed colonial attempt known as the Darien scheme. He was said to have had the best personal library in Scotland, and was hailed by Jefferson as a model patriot, with his pamphlet on militias becoming a key source of inspiration for the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Condition: Contemporary limp vellum with overlapping edges, some wear to edges and spine, some staining to back cover. Gilt edges. Paper label at foot numbered '3099.' Repaired tear to title page. Manuscript signature 'Fletcher' in sepia to inside back cover.
Price £6,500.00
Stock ID 47833