A Guide to Eternity: by BONA, Giovanni (1609-1674).L’ESTRANGE, Roger, Sir,…

BONA, Giovanni (1609-1674).
L’ESTRANGE, Roger, Sir, (1616-1704), translator.

A Guide to Eternity: Extracted out of the Writings of the Holy Fathers, and Ancient Philosophers. Written originally in Latine, by John Bona: and now done into English, by Roger L’Estrange Esq; the Second Edition. London, Henry Brome, 1680.

Second [First] Edition in English. 12mo (133 x 67 mm), pp. [xii], 188, [4], advertisements, preliminary leaves including additional engraved title-page; engraved frontispiece and pp. [xlvi], 108, [2], 126, [4] advertisements, the frontispiece to the second work shaved close to the image (but not touching it) but with loss to some of the caption below the image, in contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco label lettered in gilt, marbled edges, with the Hayhurst bookplate.

Two scarce English translations of Italian devotional works, bound together in an attractive seventeenth century binding. Giovanni Bona was a Cistercian cardinal from Northern Italy known for his scholarship and simple manner of life. The first work in this volume is his Manuductio ad coelum, first published in 1658 and first translated into English in 1672. It has often been compared to Thomas a Kempis’ Imitation of Christ, on account of the simplicity of the style in which the doctrine is explained. It was a hugely popular work, seeing a dozen editions by the end of the century and being translated into Italian, French, German, Armenian and Spanish as well as English. The second work in the volume is a translation of Bona’s Principia et documenta vitae Christianae, a comparable work which focuses on the principles of Christian conduct. The translation is usually ascribed to Luke Beaulieu.
The first work has an additional title-page, engraved, ‘Manuductio ad coelum, or a guide to eternity’, by Frederick Hendrick van Hove (1629?-1698). The second work has an engraved frontispiece depicting Christ during his passion, also by F. H. van Hove.

Guide to Eternity: Wing B3545; ESTC r23243, at BL, CUL, Bodleian, King’s Lynn; Harvard, Huntington, Union Theological, Illinois and Yale.
Precepts: Wing B3553; ESTC r17339, at BL, CUL, Downside, Bodliean and Sion College; Columbia, Folger, Huntington, Union Theological, Clark, Illinois and Yale.

Keywords: English Literature
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