Monday, August 16, 2010

A Description of the Great Bible...

Earlier this year I was looking for a book titled "A Description of the Great Bible, 1539, and the Six Editions of Cranmer's Bible, 1540 and 1541, Printed by Grafton and Whitchurch: Also of the Editions, in Large Folio, of the Authorized Version of the Holy Scriptures, Printed in the Years..." by Francis Fry. I finally was able to use a friend's access to ATLA but discovered their copy was incomplete. Another friend loaned me a copy of Vance publications "The Works of Francis Fry." After seeing this excellent book, I purchased a copy.

It is expensive - $100 USD. However, it includes four books: 1. "A Brief Memoir of Francis Fry" by Theodore Fry (Francis' son). 2. "The Bible by Coverdale" 1867. 3. "A Description of the Editions of the New Testament, William Tyndale's Version in English..." 1878 4. "A Description of the Great Bible..." 1865. All four are bound together in one hardback volume. It appears to be a glued spine. It includes a chart from the fourth book printed on one sheet 3 foot by 3 foot! It is folded and kept in a sleeve in the back of the book. The binding includes a spacer to allow for the thickness of the chart (this prevents stress and cracking of the binding). All the charts and plates are very readable.

The books by Francis Fry are excellent. I recently worked through the book on Tyndale's versions. It covers more variants and details than any other book I've read. I am just starting on the book about the Great Bible. I highly recommend this volume to anyone researching historical English Bibles.

Vance Publications is online at Click here for a list of the reprints. The works of Francis Fry is #53.

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