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BUNYAN, John.

The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come:

delivered under the similitude of a dream, wherein is discovered, the manner of his setting out, his dangerous journey, and safe arrival at the desired country. The eighth edition with additions.

London, Printed for Nathanael Ponder, 1682 Stock Code: 136155
£30,000.00

One of the earliest obtainable editions of this "landmark of Christian fantasy"

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Notes

A rare lifetime edition, the eighth overall and one of the earliest obtainable, of "one of the most widely read texts in the English language" (Stableford, p. 56), first published in 1678. Often shared between readers, copies were read repeatedly; few survive and all lifetime editions are rare. Harrison calculated there are 38 known copies of the seven editions preceding this one (a small number will have come to light since he wrote). For this eighth edition (published six years before Bunyan's death), ESTC records copies in in six institutions: Bedford Central Library and the British Library in the UK, and in the New York Public Library, Newberry Library, Clark Library, and Yale in the US. WorldCat adds another in the Morgan Library in New York. Bunyan's tale is "a landmark of British Christian fantasy and its imagery has exerted a considerable influence over the structure and equipment of quest fantasy" (ibid., p. 56).

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Description

Duodecimo (139 x 80 mm). 19th-century blind-tooled sheep, spine blind-stamped in compartments and with gilt spine lettering, brown endpapers. Housed in a black cloth flatback box and folding chemise.

Illustrations

Frontispiece and 3 full-page woodcuts.

Condition

Effaced ownership inscription dated 1705 to p. 211, another early inscription sometime discreetly removed from advertisement leaf. With the 20th-century black morocco booklabel of the book collector Michael Sharpe to the front pastedown and to the inner lid of the box. Light wear to spine ends, recornered, joints splitting at ends but still firm, occasionally a little closely cropped with shoulder notes trimmed in a few places, light browning and foxing throughout as expected, old rust mark to pp. 88-89, short closed tear to fore edge of 199/200 slightly impinging on shoulder note, small burnhole to pp. 203/204 with very slight loss to text and to woodcut. Overall, a very good, complete, internally unrestored copy of this very rare item.

Bibliography

ESTC R42808; Harrison pp. 39-40; Brian Stableford, The A to Z of Fantasy Literature, 2009; Wing B-5568.

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