George Sandys Bible
Rare Books folio BX5145 .A4 1632
As assistant treasurer to the Jamestown settlement in the early 1620s, George Sandys (1577–1644)
made a mark attempting to diversify the colony's nascent economy, already overly dependent on tobacco.
In the words of a biographer, Sandys was "a poet-adventurer, a soldier of fortune, an entrepreneur, and
a sometime crafty and controversial courtier." Before coming to Virginia, he had traveled widely in the
eastern Mediterranean and published a travel account of his adventures. While in Virginia, he found
time to work at his translation of Ovid's Metamorphosis. When he published his work back in
England and dedicated it to his literary patron, Prince Charles, later King Charles I, it became
a best seller. The VHS recently acquired Sandys's personal copy of the King James Bible,
a 1633 edition bound in elaborate brown tooled leather, with extensive gold inlays. With
this purchase, the society now owns a cherished possession that once belonged to one
of the famous names associated with the Jamestown colony, indeed, perhaps the first
poet to compose in English-speaking America.
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