Rare book Auction: Miniature Propaganda

Published 24th August 2017

The English Civil War (1642-1652) was the first major conflict where propaganda was used on a wholesale basis. It is also the only time regicide (killing of a king) has been carried out in the United Kingdom.

Two lots being offered in the Rare Book Auction on 6th September 2017 perfectly illustrate these two unique features. Both are essentially the same work and reflect the change in fortunes of the monarchy of the time.


'the works of king charles the martyr' published in london 1637 (bk18/268)

'The Works of King Charles the Martyr' published in London 1637 (BK18/268)

There is the magnificent large paper copy of The Works of King Charles the Martyr published in London 1637 (BK18/268). Published at the height of Charles' belligerent belief in the Divine Right of Kings and just five years before the start of the English Civil War, which would eventually lead to the beheading of Charles I for high treason in 1649.

Measuring some 46cm tall, this edition stands in stark contrast to the miniature volume titled Reliquiae Sacrae Carolinae. Or the Works of that Great Monarch and Glorious Martyr King Charles the I (BK18/267) Published in the Hague in 1657, this rare pocket edition of essentially the same work stand just 11cm tall.


'reliquiae sacrae carolinae. or the works of that great monarch and glorious martyr king charles the i' (bk18/267)

'Reliquiae Sacrae Carolinae. Or the Works of that Great Monarch and Glorious Martyr King Charles the I' (BK18/267)

At this time, the Restoration still some three years distant, what remained of the Court of Charles I was in exile on the continent of Europe, including Queen Henrietta and Charles II. This clandestine work would have been produced to be shipped back into England to keep the memory and ideas of the monarchy alive, almost regarded as a relic.

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