Elephant folio (440 x 281mm). , 626 pp., 3-81 (pages of glossary), . 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 #
Title: The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, Compared with...
Publisher: Printed for Bernard Lintot
Publication Date: 1721
Book Condition: Very Good+
Edition: First Edition.
Book Description Bernard Lintot. London. 1721, 1721. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. FIRST URRY EDITION. Folio. Large paper copy. (17.9 x 11.7 inches - 45.4cms x 29.8cms). lii, 626, 81, (i -Errata), pp. Frontis portrait of Urry, engraved by N. Pigne. Vignette of Chaucer's tomb on title page. Full page engraved portrait of Chaucer following title page, engraved by George Vertue. The Canterbury Tales are illustrated with 26 engraved images of the Pilgrims. Decorative initial letters and head & tail pieces throughout. Previous owners armorial bookplate (William Markham, Becca Lodge, Yorkshire, the son of the Archbishop of York and Private Secretary to Warren Hastings) on the front pastedown endpaper. A handful of leaves with browning to the margins but overall this is a very good, tall, wide margined copy. Contemporary brown calf boards with decorative blind tooled frames. Gilt and blind tooled border to the edges. Professionally rebacked with the original spine laid down. Compartments ruled and decorated with floral centre pieces, all in gilt. Burgundy title label, gilt. Corners and edges bumped and rubbed but still an attractive copy of this impressive volume. Printed by William Bowyer; his records show three sizes printed: 1000 copies demy; 240 royal; 10 writing royal. Although the pages in this copy measure to the official size of a Demy leaf, the edges have been trimmed before binding so the original pages would have been larger, suggesting this to be one of the 240 Royal paper copies. The book is certainly much larger than any copy I have seen before and matches the size of the copies, both listed as being Royal copies, in the Victoria & Albert Museum Library and Cardiff University Library. According to the DNB, this is the first edition of Chaucer to offer descriptions of the manuscripts of Chaucer's works and the first to print texts of "Gamelyn" and "The tale of Beryn", works ascribed to, but not by, Chaucer. Published posthumosly (Urry died in 1715), the final revision fell to Timothy Thomas, who also wrote the preface and glossary. The life of Chaucer was originally written by John Dart, but was revised and altered by William Thomas before publication. Bookseller Inventory # 8889