Richard Allestree, The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety (1667)

7413_6c6853c83bfb2f47e9fc6a38d770329a7377_39b3dcde60331c5f8d6cd46bdf2fcb7f

This 1667 first edition of Richard Allestree’s The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety has a detailed gift inscription from an owner named Christiana Isabella Harvey. Harvey records that the book was given to her “by the Reverend Dr. Nicholas” on “Novemb. 7. 1686.”Allestree’s book was one of a series of devotional manuals or books that, as Edmund Christie White puts it, “presented practical guidance in an easily comprehensible style on how to live a life of devotion, and they were structured to promote methodical, repeated reading” (273). White notes that these works were especially popular in Restoration England.

Seller Antiquates noted that Christiana Isabella Harvey was later the “wife of English author Hamon L’Estrange (1674–1769).” Harvey was born in 1673 and died in January 1756, so the book by Allestree must have been given to her when she was only thirteen. She would go on to have three daughters. This book is also signed by one of them, Isabella L’Estrange.

7410_4ff9c68d6cc08c820df9a2507c591e437357_08d03a73877dcb18df2d2219d1c99988

Source: Book was offered for sale by Antiquates in 2017. Images used with permission.

Further Reading

J. M. Rigg, and Norma Landau. “L’Estrange, Hamon (bap. 1674, d. 1767), legal and religious writer.” Oxford Dictionary of National BiographySeptember 2004. Oxford University Press.

Edmund Christie White, “Paradise Regained and the Restoration Church of England: Pieties in Dialogue.” Milton Studies vol. 56, 2015, pp. 273-99.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.