BEMBO, Pietro. Prose di Monsignor Bembo.
Venice, [Comin da Trino], 1540
8vo. A-O8. 112 leaves. Italic and Roman letter. Historated initials, headpieces. Alternate prose and verses. Light thumb marks on title page, page edges a little browned, ink thumb mark on margin at foot of D4, not affecting the text, blank verso of last leaf a little soiled. Elegantly rebound in early 20th-century brown morocco binding in a Neo-Renaissance style by the bookbinders Birdsall & Son of Northampton with gilt double-fillet framing along cover edges, containing fleurons, and elaborate gilt oval at centre of covers. Inside gilt dentelles. Spine divided in five gilt compartments. Title to spine. A very fine, clean and crisp copy in excellent state. A.e.g.
Known as Prose della Volgar Lingua (“Discussions of the Vernacular Language”), this is the second edition of one of the most-renowned work devoted to the Italian language. It first appeared in 1525. This linguistic guide has been fundamental to the establishment of a common Italian language based on the Tuscan vernacular. Great humanist and undoubtedly skilled man of letters, Pietro Bembo (1470–1547) was a Cardinal and today he is considered one of the noble fathers of modern Italian.
“In the Prose, Bembo codified Italian orthography and grammar, essential for the establishment of a standard language, and recommended 14th-century Tuscan as the model for Italian literary language. His view, opposed by those who wanted Latin and by others who wanted a more modern Italian as the model, had triumphed by the end of the 16th century.” Encyclodaedia Britannica
Adams, I, 109. NUC, 754.