- The Knave of Harts. Haile Fellow, well met. London: Printed [by Thomas Snodham?] for John Bache, and are to be sold at his shop at the entring in of the royall Exchange, 1612
- printed book
4to (7 1/8 x 5 5/8 in.; 182 x 141 mm, preserving deckle on all fore-edges). A-F4. Title-page printed in red and black with a large woodcut vignette, type-ornament headpiece; title-page lightly browned at edges and with one short repaired marginal tear, trimmed close at top touching a few headlines, a few scattered stains. Blue morocco gilt by Sangorski & Sutcliffe.
acquisition: Seven Gables, 1964
STC 21390.5; ESTC S94964
A unique survival of an early, possibly first, edition. All editions of this verse satire are very rare.
The traditional first edition (STC 21930), which has the same collation as the present but a different imprint (Printed by T[homas]. S[nodham]. and are to be solde by George Loftus, at [his] shop under S. Sepulchers-Church) has just two locations recorded in ESTC: the Bodleian and the Huntington. The second edition of 1613, which shares a common imprint, save the date, with the present, has only one location in ESTC: the British Library. ESTC suggests that the Pirie edition has partts of quires A and E reimposed from 21390.
Rowlands's verse found its most popular theme in lower- and middle-class London life. "Many of his sketches … are farcical or good-naturedly humorous. Much of his energy he devoted to descriptions of low London life, and his portraits in verse of beggars, tipplers, thieves, and 'roaring boys' possess much historical interest" (Sidney Lee in DNB).