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Date : 1611 FIRST EDITION
Long title: Barkshire Described with the sittuation of the Shire-towe Described Ann 1610. Copper engraving, later hand colouring although the blue looks pretty early .Overall size : 53.3cms.x 41.6cms. Image size : 510 x 385 mms. Considered the most decorative map of the county with its inset elevation of Windsor Castle, as seen from across the Thames, dominating the top; top left is a list of those who first received the honourable order of the garter. The English text on the verso describes the history of the castle in detail and declares : The Ayre is temperate, sweet, and delightfull and prospect for pleasure inferiour to none; the Soyle is plenteous of Corne, especially in the Vale of White-horse, that yeeldeth yeerly an admirable encrease. In a word, for Corne and Cattle, Waters and Woods, of profit and pleasure, it gives place unto none. Rare first edition (see below) in very good condition : two small wormholes at top of centrefold repaired and two pinpricks at top and bottom of centrefold as is usual with First Editions, thought to be pointers to the binders ; faint abrasions in left hand table of Townes on verso , slight overall toning and odd, odd faint spot and slight mark around Windsor in title ribbon, minor discolouration to small area of centrefold else very good indeed.
Unfortunately, there are no surviving records of how many examples of the First Edition (or indeed of any edition) were printed. One might speculate that the First Edition could have numbered between about five hundred and one thousand examples. It should be remembered that market for maps was not well developed in England in 1612. This, together with the cost of the atlas, the need for a second edition soon afterwards, and the high quality of impressions from the third, Latin text, edition of 1616, suggests that the first print-run may have been closer to five hundred copies or so. Unfortunately, until an attempt is made at a census of surviving examples, these figures can be regarded as only the roughest of estimates. Ashley Baynton-Williams see http://www.mapforum.com/02/speed.htm