"THE MOST TRUSTWORTHY SERIES OF ENGLISH PORTRAITS PUBLISHED UP TO THAT TIME"


[HOLLAND, Henry]. HEROOLOGIA ANGLICA hoc est, clarissimorvm et doctissimorvm aliqovt [sic] Anglorvm, qvi florvervnt ab anno Cristi M.D. vsq[ue] ad presentem annvm M.D.C.XX viuae effigies, vitae et elogia: duobus tomis. Authore H.H. Anglo-Britanno: impensis Crispini Passaei calcographi [sic], et Iansonij bibliopolae Arnhemiensis. [Arnhem : Printed by Jan Jansson at the expenses of Crispijn van de Passe and Jan Jansson for Henry Holland, London, 1620].

Engraved title-plate + 67 engraved portraits/illustrations. The text is entirely in Latin and divided into two parts that are numbered continuously. [10] ff. (incl. title-plate), 240 pp., [1] f. (a plate-list). Small folio, 30 x 19 cm, in a nineteenth- century binding of full, burgundy morocco, with gilt title to spine, a.e.g.

This book is comprised of a series of portraits with biographical, descriptive, and, in the case of writers, bibliographical notes compiled by Henry Holland, along with two or three lines of Latin verse, generally by Arnold Buchel. The individuals included all lived during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth, with a special emphasis on reformers and opponents of the Papacy. So Queen Mary is not represented and Lady Jane Grey is. In the first part there are 35 engraved portraits of monarchs, peers, and famous commoners, and 2 subject plates (Elizabeth's Tomb and Prince Henry's Hearse), and in the second part (Tomus secundus) 30 portraits of famous divines.

The portraits, engraved by the talented siblings Willem and Magdalena van de Passe, are from contemporary oil paintings and are praised by Hind as "the most trustworthy series of English portraits published up to that time." They are mostly half-lengths or busts in plain oval (with parapet) in rectangle, or merely in plain rectangle. The subjects are identified in the margin or round the oval. All the plates have type-printed text on the back, with four exceptions (Elizabeth's Tomb, Martin Frobisher, John, 2nd Lord Harington, and John Bale).

The engraved title-plate features an architectural design with four emblematic figures, child angels supporting a roundel map of England inscribed Angliae brevis descriptio, and a view of London and the Thames in a cartouche at the bottom. It likely the work of Crispin van de Passe, father of Willem and Magdalena.

Numerous pages have erroneous numeration, probably owing to the carelessness of the printers. This copy does not have the leaf of Latin verses by Gruterus that appears only in occasional copies of the book and is otherwise complete. The title-plate has a bit of early penmanship practice in the blank margin at the top, and some old careful mends and an ink signature (Henry Ware) on verso. Internally clean and very good but for one plate (John Hawkins) which has a small hole in the image. The binding is scuffed and worn at edges, yet sound.

References: STC 13582; Hind, Engraving in England, pp. 145- 162; Lowndes II (1871), pp. 1089-90; Grasse III, pp. 322-23.

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