London: C. Kegan Paul, 1880.
Edited from the First Edition of 1531 by Henry Herbert Stephen Croft. Two volumes. cxcviii, 352p; x, 660p. Illustrated with frontispieces of Sir Thomas and Lady Elyot. Bound by Frost in half brown crushed morocco with cloth sides and marbled endpapers, t.e.g., the spines with gilt titles and panel ornaments. Very fine, and very handsome. Item #16529
This work is known chiefly as the first work on education in English. While it aimed at the education of princes, it was used by the upper classes as a model.
"The twofold object of this work was 'to instruct men in such virtues as shall be expedient for them, which shall have authority in a weal public, and to educate those youths that hereafter may be deemed worthy to be governors." (DNB Vol. IV, p. 765).
'"Elyot received little reward for his services to the state, but his scholarship and his books were held in high esteem by his contemporaries. The Boke named the Governour was printed by Thomas Berthelet (1531, 1534, 1536, 1544, etc.). It is a treatise on moral philosophy, intended to direct the education of those destined to fill high positions, and to inculcate those moral principles which alone could fit them for the performance of their duties. The subject was a favourite one in the 16th century, and the book, which contained many citations from classical authors, was very popular. Elyot expressly acknowledges his obligations to Erasmus's Institutio Principis Christiani but he makes no reference to the De regno et regis institutione of Francesco Patrizzi (d. 1494), bishop of Gaeta, on which his work was undoubtedly modelled [sic]." (Wikipedia)
Includes a translation of one of the stories in the Decameron of Boccaccio [Titus and Gisippus], ... and is probably the earliest English version of the great poet's writings." (Editor's note, Vol. II, p. 132, note.).