FULL TITLE: The Faerie Queene Disposed into Twelve Books Fashioning the XII Morall Vertues
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By Edmund Spenser
Published by Walter Spiers, London, 1st edition thus, 1839
The Faerie Queene, by Edmund Spenser, with a glossary, printed and published by Walter Spiers, London, 1st edition thus, 1839.
Lovely, rare, & exquisite edition of Edmund Spenser's lavish Elizabethan poem. First published in the 16th century, the first half of The Faerie Queene was published in 1590, and the second instalment in 1596. Though incomplete, it is one of the longest poems in the English language. Written in a form of verse that for its peculiarity came to be known as Spenserian stanza. An allegorical work, the poem follows several knights in an examination of moral virtues.
The Poet intended his epic to cover twelve "private virtues", and a possible twelve more centred on King Arthur displaying twelve "public virtues.” Only the books of 6 virtues were completed, as well as the unfinished 7th book (the Cantos of Mutability), all of which are contained herein.
1st edition to be printed thus. Printed & published by Walter Spiers; 399 Oxford Street; London; M DCCC XXXIX. Bound in original, richly textured, purple morocco with half-leather & marbled hardcover boards. Leather is ruled with gold gilt borders. Gold gilt spine titling still intact, as well the gilt embroidered patterns decorating each of the six raised spine bands. Title-page accompanied with fabulous frontispiece engraving of the Arch-poet Edmund Spenser. Poem printed in small text on paginated double column pages; Gorgeous marbled end-papers. Embellished with the preface, A Letter of the Author to the right noble and valorous Sir Walter Raleigh, knight.
As well as the preface are 4 pages of further poetic introductory remarks; Included is a glossary & an opening dedication to the most high, mightie, and magnificent Empresse of "these his labours, to live with the Eternitie of her fame." It is known that Spenser was greatly esteemed by Queen Elizabeth and held in a higher regard than Shakespeare. John Milton described Spenser as "a better teacher than Aquinas."
CONDITION: Good-very good condition; boards show age & wear, some yellowing and darkened aging of pages, pages gathered somewhat near center of text-block with one thread loose of a 10-page section, small 1/2 inch marginal rip of title & half-title pages, previous owner's mark & dedicatory gift signature on ffep and front blank respectively.
BOOK MEASUREMENTS: approx. 10 in X 6.25 in
TOTAL LENGTH: 362 pages