Rider, Cardanus: Riders (1737.) British Merlin: adorn’d with many delightful varieties and useful verities, for the year of our Lord God 1737. [Bound with:] The Court Kalendar: 1737. [Also bound with:] A list of the publick offices and officers ecclesiastical and civil employ’d in His Majesty’s government […] London: printed by R. Nutt for the Company of Stationers [first work; remainder:] printed and sold by Ja. Watson, 1737.
Three works bound as one, 12mo. pp. [xliv] (ie, A-B12); 72, 70, [ii]; 72. Signature A in Rider’s ‘British Merlin’ printed in red and black and interleaved with blanks for notes. ESTC calls for 48 pages rather than 44, possibly advertisments which were omitted when the book was bound with others. The title-page for the ‘Court Kalendar’ describes it as ‘suited to bind up with Rider’s Almanack, a List of the present Parliament, and a List of the Publick Offices’, which is what has happened here. A note at the foot of the page explains the pricing structure: ‘price, the Kalendar and List sew’d together, 1s. With a List of the Offices added, 1s. 6d. or separately, at 6d. each. All Three bound in Sheeps-Leather, with an Almanack, 2s. 6d. In Calf, 2s. 9d’. Ours is the deluxe version priced at two shillings and ninepence: all three works bound together in contemporary gilt-ruled sprinkled calf, joints and headcaps repaired, rear free end-paper renewed. Rider’s British Merlin is one of the earliest almanacs (first published in 1656), containing the calendar, weather predictions, astronomical and astrological information, details of fairs and a number of advertisements. Cardanus Rider is almost certainly a pseudonym, possibly for physician and astrologer Richard Saunders. ESTC T44981, T34321 and N55226.