London: Robert Barker, 1611. Folio. A-B4 C6 D4 ²A-²C6 chi² A-5C6; ²A-²2A6. 752 leaves. (A3 bound backwards). Title page, the 2 leaves of the engraved map, and the final 2 leaves in excellent facsimile. Additional title page from a later edition bound in behind the facsimile. Gothic and Roman types, text double column with 59 lines per column and printed within woodcut rule-border, calendar and almanac printed in red and black. General title-page within engraved border by Christian Boel and section title for the New Testament dated 1611 within woodcut border. Full-sheet engraved map of the Holy Land by John Speed after Dr John More, 17 leaves of genealogical tables incorporating woodcut illustrations of Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, the Tower of Babel and other Biblical subjects, numerous woodcut head- and tail-pieces, historiated and ornamental initials. Contemporary calf boards, rebacked, spine labels; some staining, a few leaves with small holes or edges torn away, but generally a very good copy. With a notation on the paste-down that the book was “received of William Biggs for the sum of 5 shillings ... by me John Lang. Ford Warminster” dated 1747 and with a small but elaborate bookplate of W[illiam] T[homas] Smedley (1858-1920), the noted collector of Elizabethaniana and Bacon; his library was sold in 1924 to Henry Clay Folger, and the Folger library collection today includes nearly 1500 volumes formerly owned by Smedley. Item #16409
First edition, second issue/state, called the “she” Bible (because of the reading of Ruth III, 15: “she went into the citie”). In addition, because of the small hole in C6 (Matthew 26:36) it is impossible to tell whether the word Judas or Jesus is printed. The King James version of the Holy Bible is arguably the most important book ever published in English. Preparation of the Royal Version took more than 5 years and was laboriously attended to by over 50 translators and researchers. The final translations were then exchanged and reviewed, reaching a final committee of six. Supervision of the printing was carried out by Miles Smith and Thomas Bilson. Although the Royal Version appropriates much from the Tyndale, Coverdale, Geneva and Bishops’ Bibles, it is unquestionably regarded as the greatest literary translation of the Bible ever produced. Herbert 309; Pforzheimer 62; PMM 114; STC 2217.