Author Archives: stephenb stephenb

An Aldine owned by Tsar Nicholas II AND probably Renouard

An Aldine owned by Tsar Nicholas II AND probably Renouard Stephen Butler Rare Books & Manuscripts

A sumptuous copy of Aldus’ 1515 edition of Lucretius bound by Courteval and once in the Library of Tsar Nicholas II with his bookplate. Appearing in our forthcoming catalogue, keep a look out for this beautiful volume that was probably also owned by bibliophile Auguste Renouard. For other fine items upcoming in future listings, please […]

Coming soon “The Famous History of Fryer Bacon”

Coming soon "The Famous History of Fryer Bacon" Stephen Butler Rare Books & Manuscripts

“The Famous History of Fryer Bacon” is not about Roger Bacon, the historical figure I mentioned earlier, but rather it is a play written by the English playwright Robert Greene.

“The Famous History of Fryer Bacon and Fryer Bongay” is a comedic play believed to have been written in the late 16th century, possibly around 1590. Robert Greene was a well-known playwright and pamphleteer during the Elizabethan era.

The play revolves around two English friars, Fryer Bacon and Fryer Bongay, who are skilled in the art of magic and necromancy. They compete with each other to show off their magical powers. Fryer Bacon is particularly famous for his attempt to create a magical brazen head, which he believes will be able to predict the future. However, his focus on this endeavor causes him to neglect his country’s defense against foreign invaders.

The play combines elements of comedy, magic, and romance. It’s known for its humorous scenes and the interactions between the characters, making it a popular entertainment choice during its time.

While the play shares the name “Fryer Bacon,” it is important to distinguish it from the historical figure Roger Bacon, who lived several centuries earlier and was a renowned philosopher and scientist. The play is a work of fiction and should not be confused with the actual historical contributions of Roger Bacon.

Coming soon…3 fragments of Oxyrhynchus

Coming soon...3 fragments of Oxyrhynchus Stephen Butler Rare Books & Manuscripts

To our next catalogue we are pleased to announce 3 fragments of Egyptian papyri from Oxyrhynchus with excellent Provenance.  The Oxyrhynchus Papyrii are a collection of ancient manuscripts written on papyrus discovered in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were found in the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus, located in the Nile Delta. […]