CANTERBURY TALES [in five volumes, all first editions]

LEE, Harriet and Sophie

Published by G.G. and J. Robinson 1797-1805, 1797
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8vo, pp. [xxiv], 396; [iv], 564; [iv], 522; [ii], 490; [iv], 528. With half-titles in volumes 2,3,5 as issued, not called for in volumes 1 and not present in volume 4. Lacks the errata in volume 4. Bound in modern 1/4 calf, spine gilt with red morocco lettering pieces, scattered minor foxing and stains. A very good tight clean set. Gothic Bibliography pp. 258-59. First edition of the Lee sisters most extensive and successful collaboration, loosely modelled on Chaucer but set in the prersent age. "The work contains twelve stories - chiefly tales of sentimental adventure with recurring Gothic elements and occasional echoes of Prevost and d'Armand - and a lively introductory essay by Sophia . The tales are told by a company of travelers who wait, snowbound, at an inn at Canterbury" [DLB]. Two notable Gothic narratives are Sophia's "The Two Emilys, which takes up the whole of volume 2 and Harriet's Kruitzer. Novelist and playwright, Harriet Lee (1757-1851) was close to William Godwin and in fact refused his offer of marriage after the death of Mary Wollstonecraft. Blain notes: "The tales use the Lee's only intermittently realistic style to treat heightened situations and passions, unworthy parents, and feminist ideas: one is Gothic, one dwells on the French Revolution's daily sacrifice of human blood; Kruitzer, The German's Tale, 1801, often separately reprinted, has a strong heroine caught between her husband's inadequacy and the resulting full-blown wickedness of her proto-Byronic son.[p. 642]". Bookseller Inventory #

Bibliographic Details

Title: CANTERBURY TALES [in five volumes, all first...
Publisher: G.G. and J. Robinson 1797-1805
Publication Date: 1797
Edition: First Edition

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