Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

The Percy Folio of Old English Ballads and Romances [The De La More Press Folios, 4] 4-vol. set (Complete)

London: De La More Press, 1905-1906-1907-1910. Limited edition. 1/320. Folio (12 x 9"). [10], ii, 246pp (Vol. 1); [6], ii, [2], 330pp (Vol. 2); [6], i, [3], 234, [2]pp (Vol. 3); [2], ix, [1], 339, [1]pp. (Vol. 4). Uncut. Contemporary full red, green and gilt stamped morocco, with gold lettering and tooling to spines, and decoration to covers. Dentelles. Top edges gilt. Ribbon marker in each volume. Additional engraved title in first volume. Engraved vignette portrait on each title page, with titles in red and black lettering.

For this edition of the 'Percy folio manuscript' the text of the editio princeps, by Dr. Furnivall and Professor Hales, has been followed, except in the case of words or letters enclosed by square brackets.

The book is based on a 17th century manuscript collection of ballads which came into the possession of Bishop Thomas Percy and was the main source for his "Reliques of Ancient English Poetry" published in 1765. The manuscript became known as the Percy Folio.

Thomas Percy claimed to have rescued it at the house of his friend Humphrey Pitt, "from the hands of the housemaid who was about to light the fire with it." The manuscript was edited in its complete form by J. W Hales and F. J. Furnivall in 1867-1868.

This manuscript provides the core of the work but many other ballads were found and included, some by Percy's friends Johnson, William Shenstone, Thomas Warton, and some from a similar collection made by Samuel Pepys. Percy "improved" 35 of the 46 ballads he took from the Folio. In the case of The Beggar's daughter of Bednal Green (Bethnal Green), he added the historical character of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Evesham.

Limited edition of 320 copies, printed on hand-made paper, of which this is No. 259.

This work is the fourth title in the De La More Press Folios series published by Alexander Morning.

Some offsetting to spines. Inside of each front cover with minor remnant of glue from previous owner's Ex-libris. Bindings in overall good+ to very good, interior in very good condition. Item #43660

About the author: Thomas Percy (1729-1811) was Bishop of Dromore, County Down, Ireland. Before being made bishop, he was chaplain to George III. Percy's greatest contribution is considered to be his "Reliques of Ancient English Poetry" (1765), the first of the great ballad collections, which was the one work most responsible for the ballad revival in English poetry that was a significant part of the Romantic movement. (From Wikipedia).

Price: $1,750.00