A Paraphrase upon the Psalms of David.

WOODFORD Samuel (1667.)

£850.00  [First Edition]

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First Edition. 4to (190 x 150mm). [40], 256, 277-436pp., fine engraved frontispiece of King David by David Loggan. Very slightly dusty in places and with a few small spots, errata neatly corrected in ink. Contemporary calf, gilt spine, red morocco and gilt label, sprinkled edges, old paper shelf label at the foot of the spine (joints and edges neatly restored, covers a little cracked and crazed by damp).


London: by R. White, for Octavian Pullein, 1667


Wing B2491. 


A handsome copy of the first edition of Woodford's important verse paraphrase of the Psalms of David. This first edition was reissued twice (1668 and 1670) and a second revised edition was publiushed in 1678 - in 8vo format, "both to make it more portable, and to sink its price." (Preface).


In a lengthy preface Woodford discusses earlier verse translations of the Psalms including those by Buchanan, Wotton, Herbert and Sir Philip Sidney. He notes of Sidney's translation that, "it was a long time from my first hearing of it e're I could get a sight of the Papers" and thanks John Wilkins for arranging for him to see them. He notes of Sidney's work:


"This Paraphrase as I remember Dr. Donne calls by the name of Sir Philips and the Countess of Pembroks translation, and not without good reason, as far as I could judge by that cursory view I had of it, during the short time it remained in my hands; There appearing that difference as I conceived in the composition, which is wont to be in the aires of Brother, and Sister, not so unlike, as to have no resemblance, nor yet so perfectly resembling, as to have nothing but the sex to distinguish them". 


Woodford pays particular thanks to the "truly vertuous Mrs. Mary Beale", the most successful English 17th-century female portrait painter, at whose home Woodford "both began and perfected this Paraphrase". Mary Beale was also known in her time as a poet and Woodford prints her versions of Psalm 13, 52, 70 and 130 ("By M. M. B.") after his own. As far as we can see her work has been unnoticed by recent writers on female poets of the 17th. century; see, for example, Helen Wilcox, "'My hart is full, my Soul dos ouer flow': Women's Devotional Poetry in Seventeenth-Century England", in Huntington Library Quarterly, 63 (2000), no. 4, pp. 447-466.


Woodford's paraphrase is preceeded by commendatory verse by James Gardiner and Thomas Flatman. 


Provenance: Armorial bookplate of the Marquess of Tweedale, presumably that of John Hay, 2nd. Marquess of Tweedale (1645-1713), of Yester House, Gifford, East Lothian, High Treasurer (Scotland) 1695, High Commissioner to the Parliament (Scotland) 1704, Lord High Commissioner (Scotland) 1704-5; ink shelfmark on the front flyleaf.  Part of a lot in the Tweedale sale at Christie's in July 1970. .

Stock Code: 243289

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