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The woorkes of Geffrey Chaucer, newly printed, with divers addicions, whiche were never in printe before: With the siege and destruccion of the worthy citee of Thebes, compiled by Jhon Lidgate, Monke of Berie. As in the table more plainly dooeth appere.
(colophon: Imprinted at London, by Jhon Kyngston, for Jhon Wight,) 1561 - Folio (328 x 216 mm). Late 19th-century red morocco by Riviere, spine gilt lettered direct and decorated with blind tooled rules and scrolling floriate motifs, sides with concentric blind tooled ornamental panels and Tudor roses, all edges gilt, blind ruled turn-ins. Neat book label (dated 1899) of the Irish judge William O'Brien (1832-1899), whose discerning library is a microcosm of late 19th-century taste in book collecting, and included a handful of medieval manuscripts, incunabula, Aldine editions, three Shakespeare folios, 16th-century English books and handsome editions of English literature; subsequent labels of Milltown Park Library; title page and first leaf of Prologue with some restoration at margins, some leaves with repairs to closed-tears, very occasional light staining, repairs and marginal restoration to final leaf 3v8 (affecting a few letters), some leaves professionally washed. Large woodcut of Chaucer's arms on title, broad woodcut border to divisional titles for Canterbury Tales and Romaunt of the Rose (both showing Henry VIII at the head), woodcut of the Knight heading the text of the Canterbury Tales, woodcut initials. First Stow edition, the fifth edition overall of Chaucer's collected works, the issue without the woodcuts in the Prologue. The traditional view of the two issues of this 1561 edition has been that the illustrated issue was printed first, and then the cuts omitted in the second issue because the woodblocks were worn out. Recently however, it has been contested that the printer came into possession of the cuts belatedly, and the unillustrated issue appeared first (see David R. Carlson, "The Woodcut Illustrations in Early Printed Editions of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales", in Chaucer Illustrated: Five Hundred Years of the Canterbury Tales in Pictures, British Library, 2003). This was the first publication of the historian John Stow (1524/5–1605), who had earlier worked on William Thynne's Chaucer edition of 1532. Now primarily remembered for his Survey of London (1598), Stow was an antiquary whose work rivalled and complemented that of his friend Camden. Derek Pearsall has shown how Stow's scholarly skills were slighted because of his humble origins and his trade as a tailor, held to be inappropriately lowly to introduce England's first poet. It was Thomas Speght who belittled Stow, yet he was happy to incorporate notes which Stow supplied him into his own 1598 edition. There were several editions of Chaucer during the 16th-century and this one may well have been used by Shakespeare as a source-book for the story of Troilus and Cressida. Provenance: 16th-century ownership signature on title page of "H. Westfaling" (also initialed "H. W." on divisional title to Canterbury Tales), probably Herbert Westfaling (or Westphaling) - or possibly his son, also Herbert - of Mansell Gamage, Herefordshire, bishop of Hereford. Herbert Westfaling's family originated in Westphalia and he entered Christ Church in 1547 aged fifteen. Archbishop Parker mentioned him in 1570 as a possible bishop of Oxford and he was consecrated bishop of Hereford in January 1586, where he was known for his zeal in converting Roman Catholics, "and was regarded by the lords in council as a fit and able person to be employed in conferences with Jesuits and other recusants. His personal library contained works by leading reformers of his time, his will mentioning the works of Calvin in folio, which he donated to Christ Church, Oxford, and nine volumes by Wolfgang Musculus, which he bequeathed to Hereford Cathedral Library. Shortly before his death he donated £20 to the Bodleian Library for the purchase of new books" (ODNB). Westfaling was "known for his gravity" (ibid.) and Francis Godwin, who succeeded him as bishop of Hereford, commented that he had scarcely ever seen him laugh. There is some inked marginalia (presumably in his hand), largely noting particular – and perhaps unfamiliar - words used by Chaucer, but at the end of the ap
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2017-06-14           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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