The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, Compared with the former editions, and many valuable mss. out of which, three tales are added which were never before printed; by John Urry, student of Christ-Church, Oxon. deceased: together with a glossary by a student of the same college. To the whole is prefixed the author's life, newly written, and a preface, giving an account of this edition.

Chaucer, Geoffrey; Urry, John

Published by Printed for Bernard Lintot, London, 1721
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, Compared with...

Publisher: Printed for Bernard Lintot, London

Publication Date: 1721

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good+

Edition: First Edition.


Elephant folio (440 x 281mm). [52], 626 pp., 3-81 (pages of glossary), [1]. Engraved vignette of Chaucerís tomb and two full-page engraved portraits, the frontispiece of John Urry and the second of Chaucer. Text in double-column. Contemporary full mottled calf expertly rebacked, tooled in gilt, spine gilt in six compartments with red morocco lettering label to spine; (lightly toned; extremities lightly worn, corners rounded). From the collection of John Hugh Smyth-Pigott (b.1882) of Brockley Hall, a preacher, his armorial bookplate on front pastedown. First Edition. This edition was designed to be a deluxe edition of Chaucerís works with a new commentary by Oxford scholar John Urry. The publishers planned a printing of 1,250 copies with a hefty subscription price of 30 shillings for copies on fine demi paper and 50 shillings for copies on Royal paper. This edition also benefited from a heightened awareness of Chaucer and his works owing to a series of published modernizations, imitations, and varied celebrations of Chaucer in the early 18th century. Unfortunately, critical commentary on Urryís new edition condemned his editorial license and injustices to Chaucerís texts. While his collation of existing manuscripts and printed copies was exhaustive, he did not seek to retain an authoritative text. The work was hampered by Urryís untimely death (less than halfway through the project), and the death of his successor, Thomas Ainsworth, and the organization of the remaining work by many different scholars with different visions for the edition. The final revision and completion were entrusted to Timothy Thomas (c.1692-1751), who wrote the preface and glossary. The three tales that are mentioned in the title are The Cokeís tale of Gamelyn; The merchantís second tale, or The history of Beryn; and The adventure of the pardoner and tapster at the Inn at Canterbury. Urry planned this edition to be printed with a newly-cast blackletter gothic font. However, following his death, the typeface was changed, resulting in the first edition of Chaucer printed in a Roman font. Bookseller Inventory # D426

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