London, Printed for T. Davies, 1774.
Octavo, 8, 399,  pages plus an engraved frontispiece (featuring portraits of both Ashmole and Lilly).
Later binder's cloth; a few trifling marginal stains; an excellent copy.
Elias Ashmole (1617-1692) 'was an English antiquary, politician, officer of arms, astrologer and student of alchemy.... Throughout his life he was an avid collector of curiosities and other artefacts. Many of these he acquired from the traveller, botanist, and collector John Tradescant the Younger. Ashmole donated most of his collection, his antiquarian library and priceless manuscripts to the University of Oxford to create the Ashmolean Museum.... He formed several close and long-lasting friendships, with the astrologer William Lilly for example, but ... "acquisitiveness was his master passion"' (Wikipedia). William Lilly (1602-1681) was 'the most important astrologer in England through his social and political connections as well as going on to have an indelible impact on the future course of Western astrological tradition.... Lilly's autobiography, published towards the end of his life in 1681, at the request of his patron Elias Ashmole, gives candid accounts of the political events of his era, and biographical details of contemporaries that are unavailable elsewhere. It was described, in the late 18th century, as "one of the most entertaining narratives in our language", in particular for the historical portrayal it leaves of men like John Dee, Simon Forman, John Booker, Edward Kelley, including a whimsical first meeting of John Napier and Henry Briggs, respective co-inventors of the logarithm and Briggsian logarithms, and for its curious tales about the effects of crystals and the appearance of Queen Mab. In it, Lilly describes the friendly support of Oliver Cromwell during a period in which he faced prosecution for issuing political astrological predictions. He also writes about the 1666 Great Fire of London, and how he was brought before the committee investigating the cause of the fire, being suspected of involvement because of his publication of images, 15 years earlier, which depicted a city in flames surrounded by coffins' (Wikipedia).