Geneva Bible

Making Shakespeare -  Used Books

#22 Geneva Bible (1580)

This bible was printed by Christopher Barker, the Queen’s printer, who held a patent for the production of all English bibles. Barker’s device prominently featured the tiger’s head from the crest of his patron, Sir Francis Walsingham (Queen Elizabeth’s secretary of state). One early owner was particularly attracted to this device and started to cut it out of the book. The page fortunately survived, perhaps because of the “book curses” written on the reverse, which offer a reward for the return of the book if it were ever lost. The two matching curses were written by Hugh Tanner (dated January 12, 1639) and his son John, on the same day twenty-three years later (in 1662). John notes that he was the youngest son, in what constitutes a respectful display of familial piety.

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