The Library of Professor G. E. Aylmer FBA

The Library of Professor G. E. Aylmer FBA

History, Law and Politics

We are delighted to present the library of Gerald Edward Aylmer (1926-2000), leading historian of 17th-century England, first professor of history at the University of York, and sometime master of St Peter’s College, Oxford in our July 2022 auction of Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs.

G. E. Aylmer
Portrait of Professor G. E. Aylmer

 

Professor Aylmer’s doctoral thesis, ‘Studies in the Institutions and Personnel of English Central Administration, 1625–1642’, completed at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1954 under the supervision of R. H. Tawney, had a substantial impact in the field even before its publication as The King’s Servants: the Civil Service of Charles I (1961). This pioneering work was followed by two further studies, The State’s Servants (1973), and The Crown’s Servants (2002), on the English Republic and Charles II:

‘Aylmer's claim to historical eminence rests principally upon that trilogy. In it he described the institutional structure of government over more than half a century and the men (almost all were men) who ran it. Unlike many works of institutional history these volumes were saved from dryness by constant reference to the political and social circumstances of the day and by the presence of hundreds of individuals in their pages. They showed how offices were acquired and how their holders were rewarded; what was the social composition of the civil service in the different periods; what—so far as it can be estimated—was the impact of government upon the general population. Aylmer's work was not confined to the bureaucracy. He wrote two excellent surveys, The Struggle for the Constitution, 1603–1689 (1963) and Rebellion or Revolution? England, 1640–1660 (1986). He edited several books, notably The Levellers in the English Revolution (1975), a collection of texts that appealed to his own radical sympathies … He received honorary doctorates from the universities of Exeter and Manchester, both in 1991, and was honoured by a Festschrift edited by John Morrill, Paul Slack, and Daniel Woolf, Public Duty and Private Conscience in Seventeenth-Century England (1993)’ (Penry Williams in ODNB)

STAFFORD, SIR THOMAS PACATA HIBERNIA, IRELAND APPEASED AND REDUCEDLOT 157 | STAFFORD, SIR THOMAS | PACATA HIBERNIA, IRELAND APPEASED AND REDUCED
or, an Historie of the Late Warres of Ireland, especially within the Province of Mounster. London: printed by A[ugustine] M[athewes], 1633. | £500 - £800 + fees

 

View Lot 157 ⇒

 

An extensive collection of 17th- and 18th-century English books on history, law and politics, Professor Aylmer’s library is a monument to the career of one of the great scholars of the period.

 

SIDNEY, ALGERNON DISCOURSES CONCERNING GOVERNMENT. PUBLISHED FROM AN ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT OF THE AUTHORLOT 156 | SIDNEY, ALGERNON | DISCOURSES CONCERNING GOVERNMENT. PUBLISHED FROM AN ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT OF THE AUTHOR
London: to be sold by the booksellers, 1698. | £400 - £600 + fees

 

View Lot 156 ⇒

 

Highlights from the collection include rare English Civil War pamphlets, a 1698 first edition of Algernon Sidney’s Discourses concerning Government, a justification of armed resistance to oppressive government which was a major influence on the Founding Fathers of the United States, and a copy of Samuel Purchas’s compendium of voyages, Purchas his Pilgrimage, with annotations providing fascinating evidence of 17th-century reading habits.

 

View the full collection ⇒

 


 

Auction Information

 

Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs

Wed, 13th Jul 2022 10:00

Live Online | Edinburgh

 

View the auction catalogue ⇒

 

 


 

Rare Books, Manuscripts & Maps

 

Lyon & Turnbull’s dedicated team of Rare Books, Manuscripts & Maps specialists have established an international reputation for their auctions, selling both through our UK auction house, and via live online auctions. Our specialists are experts not only on books and manuscripts, but also on current market conditions, an essential combination to the successful sale of fine antiquarian books, modern first editions, folios, autographed letters and important archives.

 

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SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

 

 

Dominic Somerville-Brown

 

DOMINIC SOMERVILLE-BROWN | RARE BOOKS & MANUSCRIPTS

0131 557 8844

dsb@lyonandturnbull.com

 

  

 

SIMON VICKERS

 

SIMON VICKERS | HEAD OF DEPARTMENT

0131 557 8844

simon.vickers@lyonandturnbull.com

 

 

 

 

 

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