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Lot n° 1635

BERINGTON (Joseph). A literary...

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BERINGTON (Joseph). A literary history of the middle ages; comprehending an account of the state of learning, from the close of the reign of Augustus, to its revival in the fifteenth century. London, J. Mawman, 1814. Strong vol. in-4, half-basin, smooth spine decorated with gilt fillets and garlands, speckled edges (slightly later binding). Spine a little faded, beginning of a split at the upper spine, foxing. First edition of this important book, which was one of the first to draw attention both to medieval literary production and to the conditions of transmission of knowledge since the end of antiquity. Joseph Berington (1743-1827), a Catholic priest at a time when he was still a guarantee of absolute marginalization in Great Britain, came from an Old Catholic family in England: his ministry was several times hindered by his non-conformist opinions; but he was soon appreciated for his works in which he displayed remarkable qualities of style and research.

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