Bright and Beautiful fine bindings (signed Bickers and Son,London) decorate this complete edition of Edmund Spenser's classic work The Faerie Queene, complete in two volumes. Each volume has two handsome frontis pieces on thick paper that feels and looks like Japon Paper (these published by Simpkin,Marshall,Hamilton,Kent & Co LTD).
Although there is no copyright date, I found the publisher's 1905 advertisement for this work and it is entitled "Newnes' Thin Paper Classics" (p. 316, The Publishers' Circular, Sept. 30, 1905).
About the Work -
The Faerie Queene is an English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. Books I to III were first published in 1590, and then republished in 1596 together with books IV to VI. The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it is one of the longest poems in the English language and the origin of a verse form that came to be known as Spenserian stanza. On a literal level, the poem follows several knights in an examination of several virtues, though it is primarily an allegorical work, and can be read on several levels of allegory, including as praise (or, later, criticism) of Queen Elizabeth I. In Spenser's "Letter of the Authors" he states that the entire epic poem is "cloudily enwrapped in Allegorical devises," and that the aim of publishing The Faerie Queene was to "fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline".
Physical Attributes -
Each measures 17 x 10 x 1.5 cm. Moroccan leather bindings. Title and volume in gilt on spine within compartments; five raised ribs. Board edges are ruled in gilt. Turn-ins have gilt decoration. Volume 1 - 594 pages (comprising books 1-3). Volume 2 - 539 pages (comprising books 4-6).
See pictures. Spines slightly darkened. Slight wear at joints. One spine rib on vol.1 has a rub. Corners have slight wear. Leather feels excellent. Turn-ins ghosted onto flyleaf. Bookseller notes on blank front endpaper. Thin paper is in the style of bibles and has the same slight wave and occasional dog-ear. Very attractive smaller edition of this classic work; sure to be unique and attractive to the Spenser collector.
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