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The Fables …

ornamented with engravings from the pencil of the Right Hon. Lady Diana Beauclerc. London, by T. Bensley for J. Edwards and E. Harding, 1797; [bound with:] BÜRGER, Gottfried Augustus. Lenora. Translated from the German ... by W. R. Spencer. With designs by the Right Honourable Lady Diana Beauclerc.

Published: London, by T. Bensley for J. Edwards and E. & S. Harding, 1796

Stock code: 35093

Price: £2,250

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First editions with these Bartolozzi engravings, the only two works illustrated by Lady Diana Beauclerc, here together in handsome contemporary full morocco. Dryden’s adaptations of Chaucer and Boccaccio were among the chief reasons for his perhaps surprisingly high place in the esteem of the Romantic poets, especially Coleridge, Keats, Byron and Scott, while Bürger’s Leonora inspired a frenzy of competing English versions around this time. Ironically Bürger had found his ballad form not in German literature, but largely through the medium of Percy’s Reliques; from Leonora it was reabsorbed into English through the Lyrical Ballads, most directly Wordsworth’s The Idiot Boy.

Two works bound in one volume, folio (365 255 mm). Fine contemporary binding of green straight-grain morocco, spine attractively gilt in compartments with interlocking wave tools, gilt lettered in second panel, sides with thick-and-thin rule enclosing a floral scroll border in gilt, gilt inner dentelles, pink endpapers, gilt edges, the fore-edge gauffered. Fables: 9 engraved plates, 15 engraved vignettes; Leonora: engraved frontispiece, 4 engraved plates, 4 engraved vignettes, most signed by Bartolozzi after Beauclerc. Leonora with parallel text, German and English. A little rubbing, some offsetting and faint browning, a most attractive pair.

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