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The Geneva Bible: Amsterdam printing with unrecorded Apocrypha

SKU: 9439

The Geneva Bible: Amsterdam printing with unrecorded Apocrypha

Date of publication:
1599 i.e. 1633

modern calf


  • Imprinted at London i.e. Amsterdam : By the deputies of Christopher Barker
  • The Bible, that is, the Holy Scriptures conteined in the Old and New Testament. Translated according to the Ebrew and Greeke, and conferred with the best translations in diuers languages. With most profitable annotations vpon all hard places, and other things of great importance. [Bound with: The Book of Common Prayer… London: printed by Robert Barker… and the assignes of John Bill, 1636; and: The Booke of Psalmes: collected into English meeter, by Thomas Sternehold, Iohn Hopkins, and others… Holland? : s.n., ca. 1617] Imprinted at London [i.e. Amsterdam] : By the deputies of Christopher Barker, printer to the Queenes most excellent Maiestie [i.e. Jan Fredericksz Stam], 1599 [ie 1633]

    4to. Incomplete, but containing apparently unrecorded printing of the Apocrypha. Book of Common Prayer: A1 (of 4), B-G8, H6. Bible: ff [iii] (of iv), 190, 127, [i] blank, 128-181 (=196?); 120 (of 121). Psalms: pp. [x], 93 (ie 91), [viii], lacking final leaf, G8. Some headlines trimmed. The Book of Common Prayer is lacking A2-A4 and the title-page and B1 torn and repaired. It collates as per ESTC S2781 (B1r line 5 of heading: ‘reade’). Sternhold and Hopkins’ metrical version of the Psalms collates as per ESTC S1188: signatures A-G8, with page 91 misnumbered as 93. An Amsterdam edition with no imprint, it is a suitable candidate for binding with our Bible.The Bible has one of two general title-pages (lacking the woodcut title); in the New Testament, Revelations ends on leaf 120 of 121 (3P8); the full collation calls for 3Q8 and 3R4, so our copy lacks a dozen leaves of supplementary matter. However, our copy is most unusual in that it does contain the Apocrypha, which was ‘apparently omitted, though included in list of books’ according Darlow and Moule, and other collations we have been able to examine online. 2Q8 could easily be assumed to be the blank leaf following p. 127, but in our copy is the first leaf of the Apocrypha, p. 128 onward. The setting of Esther i1 is: ‘seuen and twenty provinces’, and the New Testament title-page carries the imprint of the Crafoorth/Stam variant, which indicates mixed sheets of ESTC S117087/S90531 and Darlow & Moule (Historical Catalogue of Printed Bibles, English, revised 1968), 252/473. Bound in modern full calf, red edges. The blank leaf preceding the Apocrypha and the verso of the NT title-page carry 17th and 18th century ownership inscriptions for the Lee family, some of whom seem to have been Leeodamer or Leendamer, suggesting a direct Dutch connection. In the 1660s they lived in the parish of St Nicholas, Rochester, Kent. By late 18th century the book belonged to John Pluckwell, who has written his own inscription on the final page.The translation prepared at Geneva by English protestants fleeing the Marian persecutions was first published 1557-1560. Although it was superseded by the King James Version in 1611, the vigorous language and critical apparatus, including notes, ensured that this Bible remained a staunch favourite – particularly with puritans – throughout much of the 17th century. The notes were controversial, regarded as potentially seditious by King James and others in his circle. Printing new editions of the Geneva Bible was prohibited in Stuart England, which explains the spurious 1599 date and the continental imprint.