Lot 17 of 167:
King James "She" Bible, 1613-1611  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$14,400
$15,000 - $25,000

The Holy Bible, Conteyning the Old Testament, and the New: Newly Translated out of the Originall Tongues: and with the former Translations diligently compared and revised, by His Maiesties speciall comandement. Appointed to be read in Churches



Robert Barker


[18] leaves, 34 pp., [705 (of 714)] leaves. 59 lines. Woodcut initials, a few headpieces; elaborate woodcut general title-page and New Testament title-page (the former dated 1613, the latter 1613; woodcut genealogical tables. (folio) 15¼x9¾, early split calf over boards. First Edition, second issue. The legendary King James Bible, commonly known as the Authorized Version, undoubtedly the most influential of all English language versions of the Bible. The first edition is known to exist in two issues, known as the Great "He" Bible and the Great "She" Bible, though it is commonly believed that most of the text of both issues was printed concurrently. The accepted first issue of the Bible had the reading in Ruth 3:15,"...and he went into the citie," and in the accepted second issue, the passage reads correctly "...and she went into the citie." The general title-page is dated 1611 in the first issue, and 1613 in the second, with the New Testament dated 1611 in both issues. Printing and the Mind of Man relates that "It was the leader of the Puritan party, John Reynolds...who first suggested the idea of a new translation. The King took up the idea enthusiastically and gave it his full support. It has been described as 'the only literary masterpiece ever to have been produced by a committee' and was the work of nearly fifty translators, organized in six groups... They succeeded superbly in their aim, not to create a new translation, 'but to make a good one better', so that the noble prose of Tyndale and Coverdale remained the backbone of what Macaulay described as 'a book, which if everything else in our language should perish, would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power.'" No new English translation was produced until the Revised Version of 1881. Darlow & Moule 240; Herbert 319; PMM 114. In the prelims., D2-3 bound before C1; the map by John Speed, inserted into some copies under license, is not present in this copy; New Testament lacking T1, T2-6 misbound after Z3 (t6 torn 12"), lacking U1-2, Z1-3 present; there are 3 (of 9) leaves following T6, with signature marks perished, comprising a portion of Revelation. There are 7 leaves at the end, from a later folio Bible.

Lot Amendments

Spine ends worn; general title and following leaves with lower corners chipped or frayed with only minor loss of text, some edge wear, 5 holes in gutter margin of title and 4 following leaves slightly affecting woodcut border; some edge wear of leaves at the end, overall very good, wanting only a few leaves at the end of the New Testament, a nice example of one of the great works of English literature.

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