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Author: Caesar, Gaius Julius: (Edmonds, Clement, ed.:)

Title: The Commentaries of C. Julius Caesar, of his Wars in Gallia; and the Civil Wars betwixt him and Pompey. With many excellent and judicious observations thereupon. As also the art of our modern training. [...] To this edition is now added, at the end of every book, those excellent remarks of the Duke of Rohan. Also the commentaries of the Alexandrian and

Publication: [London] in the Savoy: printed by Edward Jones, for Matthew Gillyflower [...] and Richard Bently, 1695.

Description: Folio, pp.[xliv], 309, [i] + 15 plates in total, including frontispiece and 9 folding plates. Title-page in red and black. A little very light dampstaining just visible at tail edge of first 10 leaves approx., a few very light paper repairs to edges of first 4 leaves, frontis slightly toned with some light transfer to title. Contemporary brown speckled calf, raised bands to spine, edges sprinkled red. Neatly rebacked with spine label, corners repaired. Rubbed, scuffed, edges worn and a little chipped. Still a very good copy overall. To the front paste-down and repeated on the ffep, 'of Lewis in June 1729 - :0:5:0' with some initials beneath, possibly W.R.L.. Also to the ffep, signature of Frank K Jewison. Eight lines of seemingly original verse to the initial blank.

'The conduct of war was prominent among Edmondes's (1567/8?1622) interests. He urged the necessity for soldiers to read about and discuss the practice of their profession, to supplement their practical experience. He was encouraged by Sir John Scott to undertake an explanatory study of Caesar's Commentaries, published in 1600 as Observations, upon the Five First Bookes of Caesar's Commentaries and followed in the same year by Observations on the Sixth and Seventh Books. Edmondes explained that the work was directed at English soldiers and he supplemented his comments on Roman military practice with observations on contemporary campaigns, including those of the English forces in France and the war in Ireland, as well as the battle of Dreux of 1562 between the royal army and protestant forces in France. He also discussed the question of how to deal with an invasion of England, whether to oppose an invading army at the coast or to withdraw and offer battle later. His preference was to fortify the coast of Kent and oppose a landing. As well as military matters, he included an explanation of the causes of tides. [...] Thomas Fuller regarded him as an example of an author who achieved 'perfection of theory' in writing on military matters without having practical experience.' (ODNB). Edmund's Caesar was popular throughout the 17th century, being reprinted in 1655 and 1677 before this edition of 1695 appeared. Accordinging to Lathrop, 'it has no literary quality, either the springing, elastic energy of the original, or any compensatory power or grace. It does, however, do its pedestrian duty of communicating information accurately and clearly, though clumsily.' An early example of the commercial success of a bestseller defying critical judgement.

Bibliography: ESTC R22982; Lathrop 247-9

Reference Number: [48621]

Price: £1250

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