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VARILLAS, Antoine; SPENCE, Ferrand: ANEKDOTA HETEROUIAKA, OR, THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE HOUSE OF MEDICIS Written Originally By That Fam’d Historian, The Sieur De Varillas, Made English By Ferrand Spence


First edition in English. Octavo (168 x 106mm). [80], 470, [2]. Bound in contemporary calf, five raised bands and six gilt compartments to spine. Red title label lettered gilt. Pages edges speckled red. A near fine copy, a little wear to the head of the upper joint, title label with a small chip, internally fresh.


First edition in English of Varillas’ Secret History of the Medicis, issued only one year after the original French. Its English translation by the spy Ferrand Spence alludes to the controversial reign of King James II, and is definitive in a genre of court secret histories that peered into how “sex, favoritism and politics… produced intrigues” with often murderous effect (Kewes, Uses of History, 376).

Anekdota Heterouiaka, Or The Secret History Of The House Of Medicis

SKU: 127
  • Author

    Antoine Varillas; Ferrand Spence

  • Publisher

    London: Printed by R[obert]. E[veringham]. for R. Bentley and S. Magnes, in Russel-Street in Covent Garden.

  • Date


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