A Translation of the Spiritual Songs of Novalis, the Hymn-Book of Luther, and other Poems from the German and Italian.London: Strahan & Co., Publishers, 1876 Stock Code: 132842
First edition, sole impression, of this scarce anthology of German and Italian poetry translated into English by noted Victorian fantasy writer George MacDonald, including the Spiritual Songs of Novalis. Also presented are English renditions of Luther, Schiller, Goethe, Heine, Petrarch, Milton (from his Italian), and others.
MacDonald first encountered Novalis when cataloguing a library in 1842, and issued a small privately printed edition, now very rare, of the Spiritual Songs in 1851. MacDonald often used quotations from Novalis in his own books: his favourite being "Our life is no dream; but it ought to become one, and perhaps will", which he invokes in Phantastes, Lilith, and The Portent. William Raeper, MacDonald's biographer, notes: "The life and thought of Novalis so gripped MacDonald that he returned to him again and again, finding some deep affinity in the spiritual, sad and simple poetry of the afflicted German."
Octavo. Original green cloth, titles and illustration gilt to spine and front, brown coated endpapers.
Ends and corners somewhat worn, cracking to hinges (more so to rear), inscription erased from head of title, small chip from fore-corner of front free endpaper repaired, still a bright attractive copy in very good condition overall.
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