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Robin Hood: A Collection of all the Ancient Poems, Songs, and Ballads

Ritson, Joseph, ed.

Hardcover
From Apogee Books (TUCSON, AZ, U.S.A.)

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.to which are prefixed Historical Anecdotes on His Life by Joseph Ritson. Second Edition. London: William Pickering, 1832. Two volumes, octavo, bound in modern full natural calf, the covers framed in a double gilt fillet, and the spines ornately gilt, with raised bands and maroon leather titling piece. Pp. [2], [i-vii], viii, cxxv (leaf i-ii wanting), 1-148; vi, 261. Bookplate of Sir Nicolas Harris. In this copy, all pages are very neatly hand-ruled in red ink that encloses text-block of each page, with chapter heads and running heads ruled separately. The missing leaf occurs between the end of the Preface and beginning of Table of Contents. Some cracking at inside margin of title page and prelims, but otherwise a very good to fine copy of this important edition. This copy with an ink presentation "To Sir Nicolas Harris/ From the editor." Lowndes 2098 This is the first Pickering edition and the second Bewick-illustrated edition (originally issued in 1795). Lowndes credits the edition with several important additions, including the tale of Robin Hood and the Monk, and he credits the actual editing to Ritson's nephew. The Bewick engravings are much improved impressions in this edition. "RITSON, JOSEPH (1752-1803), English antiquary. He was educated for the law, and settled in London as a conveyancer when twenty-two. He devoted his spare time to literature, and in 1782 published au attack on Wartons History of English Poetry. The fierce and insulting tone of his Observations, in which Warton was treated as a showy pretender, and charged with cheating and lying to cover his ignorance, made a great sensation in literary circles. In nearly all the small points with which he dealt Ritson was in the right, and his corrections have since been adopted, but the unjustly bitter language of his criticisms roused great anger at the time, much, it would appear, to Ritsons delight. In 1783 Johnson and Steevens were assailed in the same bitter fashion as Warton for their text ~of Shakespeare. Bishop Percy was next subjected to a furious onslaught in the preface to a collection of Ancient Songs (printed 1787, dated 1790, published 1792). The only thing that can be said in extenuation of Ritsons unmatchable acrimony is that he spared no pains himself to ensure accuracy in the texts of old songs, ballads and metrical romances which he edited. His collection of the Robin Hood ballads is perhaps his greatest single achievement. Scott, who admired his industry and accuracy. in spite of his temper, was almost the only man who could get on with him. On one occasion, when he called in Scotts absence, he spoke so rudely to Mrs Scott that Leyden~ who was present, threatened to thraw his neck. and throw him out of the window. Spelling was one of his, eccentricities, his own name being an example: Ritson is short pronunciation for Richardson. As early as 1796 Ritson, showed signs of mental collapse, and on the 10th of September 1803 he became completely insane, barricaded himself in his chambers at Grays Inn, made a bonfire of manuscripts, and was finally forcibly removed to Hoxton, where he died on the, 23rd of the month." (Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th edition). Bookseller Inventory # 11067

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Title: Robin Hood: A Collection of all the Ancient ...

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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