Publisher: London: Printed by Melch. Bradwood, for Eleazer Edgar and Samuel Macham, 1608 [Hall]; London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, 1718 [Budgell].
Edition: First edition of the Hall; third edition of the Budgell.
Bibliographical References: STC 12648a, the second of three printings [Hall]; Murphy, Bibliography of English Character Books, pages 11-12; and see Boyce, The Theophrastan Character in England, pages 122-135.
Condition: The Hall lacks the first and final blanks; title on the Hall trimmed a little close at the top margin, but not touching the printing; some smudges and stains in the text; very good copy.
Book ID: 17015
Description2 vols in 1, small 8vo, 18th century quarter vellum, marbled sides, red leather label, gilt lettering. Engraved frontis portrait to the Budgell.
Comments¶ The first book in English fashioned after the character-writings of the Greek philosopher Theophrastus, and the beginning of what became a popular genre for English authors of the 17th and 18th centuries, among them Donne, Overbury, Earle, Braithwaite and Stephens. Hall’s work, attractively printed with woodcut borders and decorations, examines in concise sketches the nature of humility, patience, true-friendship, the busy-body, the superstitious, the inconstant, the distrustful, the flatterer, the vainglorious, the envious, etc. In addition to character-writing, Hall (1574-1656) was responsible for other important literary innovations, including Juvenalian satire. ¶ The Budgell translation, with a biographical introduction about Theophrastus, appropriately and interestingly compliments the Hall.