Edmund Geste and his books. Reconstructing the library of a Cambridge don and Elizabethan bishop.

London: Bibliographical Society, 2017,

First Edition. octavo, blue cloth. xxix, 493 pp. Bibliographical Society, Item #29445

Edmund Geste, probably pronounced ‘Guest’, (c. 1515–1577) studied at King’s College, Cambridge, where he became a fellow in 1536 under Henry VIII, rising to become Vice-Provost under Edward VI in 1550 before being expelled under Queen Mary. With the accession of Queen Elizabeth, he embarked on an ecclesiastical career, becoming Archdeacon of Canterbury (1559), Bishop of Rochester (1560), and finally Bishop of Salisbury in 1571. During all this time, he gradually amassed a considerable library which he left to his cathedral of Salisbury on his death.

Dr Selwyn presents an account of Geste's career as a book collector, with a detailed study of his confessional journey from the ‘old religion’ to Elizabethan Protestantism. As well as the documentary sources, Dr Selwyn examines the evidence of the books themselves and Geste’s use of them as shown by his often extensive annotations. He presents studies of the earlier provenance of the books, the bookbinders he used, and his theological interests in so far as these can be inferred from the range of authors, English and continental, in his collection. The book has indexes of publishers and printers, bindings, provenances and annotations, and also the pastedowns, many of which have been identified by Dr Christopher de Hamel and include many leaves from medieval manuscripts and printed books, some of considerable significance. With 110 color illustrations. Issued without a jacket. Small bump to lower left corner of front cover, otherwise as new.

Price: $50.00

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