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Berni, M. Francesco.

IL PRIMO LIBRO DELLE OPERE BURLESCHE,

Di M. Gio Della Casa, del Varchi, del Mauro, del Bino, del Molza, del Dolce e del Firenzuola ... IL SECOND LIBRO ... Del Molza, di M. Bino, Di M. Kudovico Martelli, di Mattio Franzesi, di P. Aretino, E. D’Altri Autori. Con Aggiunta in Fine del Simposio del Magnifico Lorenzo de’Medici. Londra per Giovanni Pickard 1721-4.
2 vols. [xxviii] + 549pp. + [ix] (ded. leaf misbound between pp.546-7) + [viii] + 494pp. + pp.(465-472) + [vi]. [Complete]. Port. frontis., frontis., t.p. vignettes of Apollo in his chariot also to fly-title [Cc8] to vol. 2., dec. head and tail pieces and initial letters. Lightly browned, attractively rebound in double blind rule edged speckled calf, gilt rule edged raised bands with gilt lettering and gilt lettered title labels to spines. ESTC T144058. Volume II inscribed in a contemporary hand ‘Clarissimo Viro / Ricciardo West / Hiberbniae / Sacris Scrinijs / Praefecto / Paullus Rollus / in / Animi Grati / Monumentum MDCCXXV. Loosely translated it appears to be a gift to Richard West from his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Gilbert Burnet Bishop of Salisbury, upon his appointment as lord chancellor of Ireland in 1725. Of particular interest as West was in office for less than a year and a half when he succumbed to ‘a fever of the most malignant type’ (Burke, 119). ODNB ‘... It was hoped to the last that he would recover, but after twelve days' illness he died in Dublin on the afternoon of 3 December 1726. West's death gave rise to some suspicion, and there were rumours to the effect that his wife, having taken West's secretary John Williams as her lover, had poisoned her husband. The rumours were never substantiated, however, and in fact Williams went on to marry West's daughter ...’ Seems almost prophetic, as of course Francesco Berni (1497-1536), was himself a victim of poisoning. It was in Florence, as a priest in the Cathedral, where he died in 1536; poisoned by Duke Alessandro de Medici supposedly for not helping murder Cardinal Salviati. It is a death that is still being questioned.
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