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WILLIAM TELL;
London, Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1809.. or, Swisserland Delivered. To which is prefixed, The Life of the Author, by Jauffret. Translated from the French by William B. Hewetson. First English translation 1809, 12mo, 160 x 100 mm, 6½ x 4 inches, pictorial frontispiece engraved by Mackenzie after Thomson, half title present, pages xxxvi, 115, (5) - adverts, bound in modern quarter calf over marbled sides, gilt dividing lines, raised bands and gilt rules to spine, gilt lettering, marbled endpapers. Margins of frontispiece foxed, very slight offsetting onto title page, light brown spotting to 2 pages of Preface and final page, a few margins faintly browned, contents otherwise clean and bright. Binding tight and firm. A very good copy complete with half-title and adverts. First published in Paris by Didot in 1802, this is the first edition of the first English translation. According to medieval legend William Tell from Burglen was known as an expert marksman with the crossbow. At the time, the Habsburg emperors were seeking to dominate Uri. Hermann Gessler, the newly appointed Austrian Vogt of Altdorf raised a pole in the village's central square with his hat on top and demanded that all the local townsfolk bow before it. As Tell passed by without bowing, he was arrested. He received the punishment of being forced to shoot an apple off the head of his son, Walter, or else both would be executed. Tell had been promised freedom if he shot the apple. On November 18, 1307, Tell split the fruit with a single bolt from his crossbow, without mishap. When Gessler queried him about the purpose of the second bolt in his quiver, Tell answered that if he had ended up killing his son in that trial, he would have turned the crossbow on Gessler himself. Gessler became enraged at that comment, and had Tell bound and brought to his ship to be taken to his castle at Küssnacht. In a storm on Lake Lucerne, Tell managed to escape. On land, he went to Küssnacht, and when Gessler arrived, Tell shot him with the crossbow. This defiance of the Austrian, Gessler, sparked a rebellion, leading to the formation of the Swiss Confederation. MORE IMAGES ATTACHED TO THIS LISTING.
      [Bookseller: Roger Middleton]
Last Found On: 2013-07-19           Check availability:      Biblio    

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