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The Bay Psalm Book: The First Book Printed in British North America, 1640

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Length: 483 pages7 hours

Summary

The founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony came to the New World seeking religious freedom, and their first publication was a hymnal: The Bay Psalm Book, printed just twenty years after the Pilgrims' arrival. This book, with which the Pilgrims literally sang their praises to God, presents a translation of the Psalms from Hebrew, transposed into metrical rhyme for congregational singing. An instant success, the book was adopted throughout the colonies and remained in use for well over a century. Only eleven known original editions survive, one of which recently sold at auction for a record $14.2 million, making it the most expensive book in the world.
This facsimile of a rare first edition includes a companion volume, The Enigma of the Bay Psalm Book, which provides an academic study of the psalter's history and contents. Both books are encompassed in this single volume, offering readers and collectors a personal edition of a major icon of book history and a great artifact of American culture.

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