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Reliques of Ancient English Poetry WITH Old Ballads Historical and Narrative
J. Dodsley, London 1775 - Percy's "Reliques" - Three volumes and "Old Ballads", printed by T. Evans, 1777 - Two volumes. Volume One - lxxviii, [4], 376pp, [2]; Volume Two - [4], iii, [1], 404pp, [1]; Volume Three - [4], xxxix, 359pp, [1]; Volume Four - 8, 334pp, [1] and Volume Five - [8], 308pp. Uniform full morocco, smooth backs divided into six panels by single gilt rules, gilt titles and volume numbers to spines. Spines slightly faded, slightly rubbed to spine ends, minor rubbing to extremities, corners bumped, minor ink stains to a couple of the covers. Internally occasional very light spotting, small piece missing from foot of frontispiece in volume one, rear endpaper creased and torn in the same volume, some light off-setting from vignettes, but generally bright and clean. With half-titles and attractive engraved head and tail pieces. "Percy, Thomas (1729-1811), writer and Church of Ireland bishop of Dromore . Percy's most important and influential work, the three-volume anthology of which the full title is Reliques of ancient English poetry: consisting of old heroic ballads, songs, and other pieces of our earlier poets. (Chiefly of the lyric kind) . Percy excluded bawdy, as well as almost all politics and protest . Within five months 1100 sets of the three elegant volumes (out of 1500 printed) had sold, at half a guinea a time. Percy's editorial policy seemed to be vindicated, with some of the most doctored ballads securing the highest approval . Percy did at least take ballads seriously, annotating them with great care. He treated them as literary phenomena, largely ignoring their music and their links with oral tradition, but a scholar in the late twentieth century made this assessment: 'Percy's work was brilliant and blundering, inspiring both the interest and standards which were later to condemn it. It was, however, a noble experiment and one as remarkable for its failures as for its triumphs'" (Oxford DNB) Size: 12mo [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Zetetic Books]
Last Found On: 2014-11-29           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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