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Leviathan, or, the Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill

By Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury
Book; Online
London, : Printed [by William Wilson] for Andrew Crooke, at the Green Dragon in St. Paul's Church-yard, 1651.
First edition, first issue
Variant Title
Leviathan, or, The matter, forme and power of a common-wealth
[6], 248, 247-256, 261-396 [i.e. 394] p., [2] leaves of plates (1 folded) : ill., table ; 29 cm (fol.)
  • In this edition the additional title page vignette is a winged head with scrolls and tassels.
  • Added engraved title page: "Leviathan, or The matter, forme, & power of a common-wealth ecclesiasticall and civil". By an anonymous engraver; sometimes attributed to Abraham Bosse (1602-1676). cf. Corbett & Light brown. At the head of the engraving: "Non est potestas Super Terram quae Comparetur ei Iob.4t 24".
  • This is the first edition, first issue. Two other editions appeared with the same date and imprint: one with a bear vignette (probably printed in Holland), and one with an ornamental vignette and the spelling "civil" for "civill" on the title page (printed 1680?).--cf. Macdonald-Hargreaves, p. 27ff.
  • The printing of this edition has been ascribed to William Wilson (cf. Virginia University. Bibliographical Society. Studies in bibliography, volume 7, (1955) pages 125-151).
  • The second plate is a folded letterpress table.
  • There are two identified states of this edition. In one leaf 3A3 is missigned "Aa3", in the other the leaf is correctly signed.
  • Errors in paging: p. 362 misprinted as 364; 247-248 repeated; 257-260 skipped in numbering.
  • Signatures: A-3D⁴ (quires 2C to 3D signed on third leaf of signature, all others on first two leaves only).
  • Errata (13 lines) at foot of A3v.
  • Woodcut head-pieces and initials; printed marginalia.
Local Notes
SPECIAL COLLECTIONS: Library copy: Leaf 3A3 correctly signed. Provenance: With armorial bookplate of Curragh Chase Library. Binding: Bound in full calf. Spine in six panels divided by raised bands. Compartments framed in gilt double fillet rule above and below. Light brown leather spine label with gilt lettering "Hobb's Leviathan" in the second panel. Tracy W. McGregor Library, English Literature Collection. This copy recataloged through a generous grant from the McGregor Fund.
Cited in
English short title catalogue, entry R17253
Macdonald-Hargreaves. Thomas Hobbes, a bibliography (1952), entry 42
Carl H. Pforzheimer Library, entry 491
Corbett, M. Comely frontispiece, No. 20, p. 219-230
Wing, D.G. Short-title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and British America, and of English books printed in other countries, 1641-1700 (2nd ed.), entry H2246
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E 1651 .H658