Translated from the Greek, for the use of general readers; with short explanatory notes. By Isaac Taylor.

  • Herodotus
  • London: Holdsworth and Ball 1829


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FIRST EDITION, 8vo, pp. xxvi, 766, [2, errata] + folding engraved map frontispiece, one other folding engraved map, and one folding table. Later half calf, marbled boards, spine lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt. Engravings offset onto facing pages, some toning and spotting. Spine and edges rubbed, a small patch of damage to lower board. Bookplate of Edmund H.. Bryans to front pastedown, with his name struck through and that of F.P. Ellingham (1953) added in blue ink, two further ownership inscriptions (one of Bryans, the other A.M. Carew Hunt)) on second flyleaf also crossed through.


The first edition of this translation of Herodotus, made by Isaac Taylor (1787-1865), of the literary and artistic Taylors of Ongar - though this Isaac (the third in a row) moved a couple of miles away and became known as Isaac Taylor of Stanford Rivers. Taylor became most famous for his 'Natural History of Enthusiasm', also published in 1829, though his liberal Anglican philosophy was becoming old-fashioned within his lifetime. Translating Herodotus was an unusual choice: only Isaac Littlebury (1709, several times reprinted) and William Beloe (1791) had managed the full text before him, leaving this version is the only significant attempt between them and Rawlinson (1858-60), whose translation is still being reprinted. Taylor's text, befitting the educational and moral focus of his other works, is somewhat abridged and expurgated, though he was praised by the Gentleman's Magazine ''for familiarizing the English public with an author, not only one of the principal historians of antiquity, but in many matters the only one'.

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