collections

George Wither’s Emblem Book (1635)



A collection of emblemes, ancient and moderne
quickened with metricall illustrations, both morall and divine : and disposed into lotteries …
by George Wither. The first [-fourth] booke; 1635; Henry Taunton, London.

The emblem book of English poet, pamphleteer, and satirist George Wither (1588 – 1667). Wither was employed by a London publisher called Henry Taunton to write English verses to illustrative the beautiful allegorical plates made by Gabriel Rollenhagen and Crispin van Passe more than 20 years earlier. Published in 1635, it coincided with the other most famous English book of emblems by Francis Quarles. Of Wither’s mostly forgotten literary talents the Scottish author and poet George Gilfillan wrote that “Wither was a man of real genius, but seems to have been partially insane”.

Housed at: Internet Archive | From: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights
Download: PDF


  • kik

    The 4th emblem is of the motto “Occassions-past are fought in vaine; but,oft, the wheel about againe”. Funnily,the book is dedicated to one Charles, Prince of Wales. Wheel about indeed!