London: John G. Murdoch, n.d. Quarto; pp. xxviii; 876; 14 chromolithograph plates with tissue guards; all edges gilt; elaborately gilt decorated cuir-ciselé binding with bevelled edges encased in patterned brass with brass hinges. Depicted on the cover: Wickliffe Before the Synod and The Martyrdom of Ridley and Latimer.
Expertly rebacked with original spine and brass hinges remounted; light foxing to the title page and following five leaves; stains to the edges of the endpapers; else clean throughout. Item #1364
In 1873, riding on the twin events of increasing Irish immigration to Northern England and the rapid growth of the Orange Order, Adam & Co. (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne) produced a new edition of Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Firebrand protestant preacher Samuel Potter was enlisted to write the preface. Evenden (2014) holds that while Foxe's original intention had been to show a clear lineage of godliness and suffering both textually and visually, later Victorian sensibilities would not stomach the visual desecration of human flesh, particularly that of women and children. The shock value of this edition was therefore achieved textually, through Potter's attacks on the newspapers, the government, the Prime Minister (Gladstone) and the Pope. The new edition was intended for families and the brightly coloured images are largely sanitised compared to the original woodcuts published by Day in the seventeenth century. Sadly, despite Foxe's popularity, Adam & Co. went out of business six years later and it would seem John G. Murdoch, well known for religious publishing, bought the rights to the Potter edition.
A note on the illustrations: Adam & Co. produced nineteen illustrations for their edition, although most copies examined by Evenden only seem to contain twelve. She concludes this was by design, although she did examine one copy that had all nineteen plates. The plates depicting the female martyrs were the least common. This edition contains two, including "The Executioner begs Lady Jane Grey's Forgiveness".
[Ref: "John Foxe, Samuel Potter and the Illustration of the Book of Martyrs" Evenden, Elizabeth. Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 2014-04-01T00:00:00, vol. 90, no. 1, pp. 203-230(28) Manchester University Press].