SAMMES, Aylett. Britannia Antiqua Illustrata: or, the Antiquities of Ancient Britain, derived from the Phoenicians… Printed by Thomas Roycroft, for the Author. 1676.
Folio. Twentieth century brown-calf backed marbled boards, spine with earlier red morocco gilt lettering piece; pp. [viii] + 582 + , folding map (fold neatly repaired), text engravings throughout; occasional browning throughout, edges trimmed, very good.
First edition. In this work Sammes attempted to tie British antiquity in with Biblical and classical histories by suggesting that the ancient Britons were descended from the Phoenicians, using some passing etymological resemblances between Welsh and Phoenician as his evidence. His theories never gained much traction, but his book did provide a number of useful contributions on early British culture and traditions, and the imagery he used became part of the national iconography - the illustration of the Wicker Man, in particular, is embedded in modern British culture.