This is one of the most complete collections of editions of Baldassare Castiglione's Il libro del cortegiano known to exist. The bulk of it was formed from the gift of books made by Sir Herbert Thompson in 1921, and others from the collection of Huxley St. John Brooks. The collection ranges from the Aldine editio princeps of 1528 to the translation by L.E. Opdyke which appeared in a limited edition in 1902 with a bibliography of the editions of the work. In addition to the 1528 edition the other four early editions of Aldus of 1533, 1541, 1545 and 1547, are all present. Of the 110 editions listed by Opdyke as appearing before 1640, this collection contains sixty-one, and also an edition of 1557, published in Paris by E. Graulleau, which once belonged to William Lambard and bears his signature, not known to Opdyke. The collection now comprises 102 separate editions of this book of which seventy were published before 1800, including the first English version translated by Thomas Hoby, printed in London by William Seres in 1561, together with nine other English editions printed before 1640.