Sold by Walter Davis in Amen Corner.
Engraving, rare. Sheet 380 x 270mm (15 x 10½"). Trimmed within plate. Crease.
Sir Roger L'Estrange (1616-1704), a Royalist pamphleteer, best known for 'An Account of the Growth of Knavery', which ruthlessly attacked the parliamentary opposition, placing them as "dissenting fanatics". During the Civil War he was sentenced to death as a spy, but after four years' imprisonment in Newgate he escaped to Holland. Pardoned by Cromwell in 1653 he returned to England, and, after a few years of living quietly, he started printed pamphlets calling for the return of Charles II. After the Restoration he turned from poacher to gamekeeper: as 'Surveyor of the Imprimery' he was tasked with the prevention of the publication of dissenting writings, with the right to search the premises of printers and booksellers on the mere suspicion. In the 1660s he returned to journalism; he wrote questioning the truthfulness of Titus Oates during the Popish Plot of 1678; and in 1681 he started the 'Observator', a paper written in the form of a dialogue between a Whig and a Tory (biased to Toryism), which lasted six years. Knighted by James II in 1685, he served as MP for Winchester 1685-89); however he lost all his offices with the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and, having been arrested for suspected plots, turned to more academic writing, including acclaimed translations of Æsop's Fables and the works of Flavius Josephus.
[Ref: 34472] £240.00