Phantasmion.William Pickering, London , 1837 Stock Code: 134940
NotesFirst edition, one of 250 copies published, of the long fairy-tale Phantasmion, "one of the earliest novel-length fantasies separate from the Gothic tradition" (Sanders), which has been described not only as an important precursor to The Lord of the Rings, but also by science-fiction aficionados as an early and influential example of that genre. The work is a prose epic set in a fantastical Lake District, where Sara Coleridge had grown up in the household of her uncle Robert Southey, and modelled on Spenser's Faerie Queene. It is a strong candidate for the first modern fantasy novel, preceding George MacDonald's Phantastes (1858) by two decades.
Small octavo (163 x 100 mm). Contemporary burgundy morocco, spine lettered and tooled in gilt with curled roll to spine ends, flower-and-leaf device to compartments, raised bands striped and edged with triangular roll, thick gilt border of matching flower-and-leaf motifs to boards, scroll-and-leaf roll to board edges and turn-ins, marbled endpapers, edges gilt.
Engraved publisher's device to title page.
A handsomely bound copy, spine slightly faded, joints and corners rubbed, the contents crisp and mostly clean, first and last gatherings lightly foxed, the occasional smudge or mark to margins, one tiny perforation to fore edge margin of leaf Bb6.
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