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Specializing in Rare and Antiquarian Books on the Occult and more.

Occult & Esoterica

HYPNEROTOMACHIA POLIPHILI. The Strife of Love in a Dream by Francesco Colonna, Translated and Introduced by Joscelyn Godwin

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HYPNEROTOMACHIA POLIPHILI. The Strife of Love in a Dream by Francesco Colonna, Translated and Introduced by Joscelyn Godwin

85.00

New York: Thames & Hudson, 1999. First Edition Thus. First English translation. Large, thick quarto. Hardcover. Light brown cloth with blind stamped publisher's device to front. Gilt spine titles on red cloth label. 476 pages, b/w woodcut illustrations throughout. No remainder mark. An extremely heavy volume. 2 light corner bumps. Dust jacket has some light edge wear, otherwise a near fine copy in like jacket.

It is hard to believe that one of the most famous books in the world, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, read by every Renaissance intellectual and referred to in studies of art and culture ever since, has never in 500 years appeared in English. One reason, no doubt, is the length and difficulty of the text. It is a strange, pagan, pedantic, erotic, allegorical, mythological romance relating in highly stylized Italian the quest of Poliphilo for his beloved Polia. The author (presumed to be Francesco Colonna, a friar of dubious reputation) was obsessed by architecture, landscape and costume - it is not going too far to say sexually obsessed - and its 174 woodcuts are a primary source for Renaissance ideas on both buildings and gardens. 

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