John Gauden, Eikōn Basilikē: The Pourtraiture of His Sacred Maiesty in His Solitudes and Sufferings (1649)


Charles I was long since executed and his son Charles II dead of apoplexy when Anna Vyvyan signed a copy of the popular Eikon Basilike, with its iconic frontispiece of  a Christlike Charles I kneeling, looking toward the heavens, and gripping a crown of thorns. In fact, Queen Anne was probably already on the throne by the time Vyvyan wrote “Anna Vyvyan her Book 170[…?] & Hand & Pen” on one of the flyleaves. Vyvyan’s ownership of the book could be related to her family background; she was probably a member of the Royalist Vyvyan family of Trelowarren in Cornwall. The Vyvyans were such staunch supporters of the King that they were given a replica of the Anthony van Dyck portrait of Charles I on horseback, which still hangs in the family estate [1].


[1] Coate, M. “The Vyvyan Family of Trelowarren.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 32 (1950): 117. doi:10.2307/3678480.

Source: Book offered for sale by Rootenberg Rare Books, 5/31/19. Images used with permission.

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