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(YEATS, W. B.) SPENSER, Edmund.


Selected and with an Introduction by W. B. Yeats.

Edinburgh, T. C. & E. C. Jack, [1906] Stock Code: 139674

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First edition, first impression, rarely found in the dust jacket. This attractive production prints Yeats's lengthy essay on Edmund Spenser with his selections from Spenser's Faerie Queen, Shepherds Calendar, and others, accompanied by the exquisite illustrations of Jessie M. King.
Yeats's essay epitomises the view of Spenser as a poet who "had been made a poet by what he had almost learnt to call his sins. If he had not felt it necessary to justify his art to some serious friend... he would have written all his life long, one thinks, of the loves of shepherdesses and shepherds, among whom there would have been perhaps the morals of the dovecot... His processions of deadly sins, and his houses, where the very cornices are arbitrary images of virtue, are an unconscious hypocrisy, an undelighted obedience... for all the while he is thinking of nothing but lovers whose bodies are quivering with the memory or the hope of long embraces." This edition was printed as part of the Golden Poets series, edited by Oliphant Smeaton.

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Octavo. Original purple cloth, titles and designs gilt, top edge gilt. With the dust jacket.


Frontispiece and vignette title page by A. S. Hartrick, 8 coloured illustrations by Jessie M. King.


The book fine and bright under the jacket, with only minimal rubbing to ends and tips and mild offsetting to endpapers, the jacket dampstained at the spine, and with a small chip to the head, but otherwise in exceptional condition, an excellent copy overall.


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Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

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