Edward Benlowes, Theophila, or, Loves sacrifice (London, 1652).
The poet Edward Benlowes often lavished gifts of books on his protégés and on his old college. This volume is Benlowes's own copy of his major poetical work, Theophila, which describes the soul's longing for and eventual union with God. Owing to the fact that he had a rolling press installed in his home, Benlowes could afford to produce sumptuous engravings to embellish it, although each individual copy often contains a varying number of engraved plates as Benlowes bound up each personally to present as gifts. The copy Benlowes gave St John's has seventeen engravings of a possible twenty-five, "among which is the best and rarest, namely, Theophila treading on a serpent". This is displayed here, along with a picture of a masked woman which accompanies the dedicatory verse to “Ladies”.