Early printed history books
The books in this collection, on loan from Worcester City Library, date from the early 17th century to the late 19th century.
One of the earliest publications found so far, The Florentine History in VIII Books by Nicholas Machiavel, was printed in London in 1674. Other early works include John Milton’s Samson Agonistes, published in London in 1688, and Paradise Lost, published in 1695. Some of the collection’s later works are reprints of earlier publications.
The collection covers ancient and modern history from across the world. Some highlights include:
- A number of late 18th century histories of the Saracen and Hindoo/Hindu nations, including The Antiquities of India and History of Hindostan, by Thomas Maurice, published in 1794
- Histories of revolution, such as the 1781 American Revolution and The History of the Revolutions in Spain, 1724
- Various 18th and 19th century histories of France, covering the French Revolution and the Battle of Waterloo
- Histories of Africa and the Mediterranean world
The collection also contains works of contemporary social commentary, including:
- A complete set of Boswell’s Life of Johnson from 1791 and an 1824 edition of Johnson’s Dictionary
- Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi, edited by ‘Boz’ [Charles Dickens] in 1839
- Five volumes of Oxberry’s Dramatic Biography & Histrionic Anecdotes from 1825-27
- Reprints of the 18th century diaries of Madame D’Arblay (alias Fanny Burney) published in 1842