Garrett Godfrey binding
Ancient Roman authors were a great source of inspiration for Erasmus and the list of Latin works published by him is impressive. This edition by Erasmus of classical accounts of Roman emperors is of unique importance. It was formerly owned by Sir Thomas Smith who as well as being an eminent humanist scholar and Queens’ fellow was also secretary of state to Edward VI and Elizabeth I. Smith was an active reader and talented annotator who extensively perused and personalised his books (around sixty of which were bequeathed to Queens’ Library).
Throughout this volume we see hand-written key-words entered in the margins, drawings of landscapes and cities, and imagined portraits of characters mentioned in the text. The distinctive Cambridge-style binding of the book is also remarkable, not least on account of its link to Erasmus. It was made by the Cambridge binder, printer, and bookseller Garrett Godfrey. He is known to have been a close friend of Erasmus who in one of his letters describes Godfrey as having acted as his ‘host of old time’ during his period in Cambridge.
Author: Desiderius Erasmus
Title: Ex recognitione Des. Erasmi Roterodami, C. Suetonius Tranquillus, Dion Cassius Nicaeus … [et alii] [Editions by Erasmus of classical accounts of Roman emperors by Suetonius, Dio Cassius, and others] (Cologne: Eucharius Cervicornus, 1527)