The Vvorks Of Our Ancient, Learned, And Excellent English Poet, Jeffrey Chaucer:.
Bound in early panelled calf, rebacked; spine in compartments with raised bands, with contrasting maroon title labels, gilt. All edges red. Extremities worn, top edge darkened, scattered foxing and other traces of mellowing through age. Small ink stain on lower edge of frontispiece and missing section on lower corner of 2R4 with slight loss of text; otherwise a very good crisp copy. Early signature at head of title.
LAST BLACK LETTER EDITION OF CHAUCER'S WORKS
Printed in the Year,,
As they have lately been compar'd with the best manuscripts; and several things added, never before in print. to which is adjoyn'd, the story of the siege of thebes, by john lidgate, monk of bury. together with the life of chaucer, shewing his countrey, parentage, education, marriage, children, revenues, service,reward, friends, books, death. also a table, wherein the old and obscure words in chaucer are explained, and such words (which are many) that either are, by nature or derivation, arabick, greek, latine, italian, french, dutch, or saxon, mark'd with particular notes for the better understanding their original.
Folio, in fours. 8.5 x 13 inches.  + 660 +  pp. Main text in black letter in double columns.
Illustrated by engraved Gower portrait frontispiece, with genealogical tables and coats of arms and by 2 armourial wood engravings in preliminaries. Decorated by headpiece vignette.
The last black letter edition of Chaucer, substantially reprinted from the editions of 1598 and 1602, with the addition of the rediscovered endings to the Cook's and Squire's tales given in the advertisement on the final page. The dedication to Sir Robert Cecil, Principal Secretary to Queen Elizabeth, is signed Tho. Speght and the text of a letter to Speght from Francis Beaumont and verses by Francis Thynne, an additional editor of the 1602 edition, are added. The Life of Chaucer is followed by an earlier dedication to Henry VIII. The Works include The Canterbury Tales, The Romaunt of the Rose, Troilus and Cresseide, The Legend of Good Women, The House of Fame, The Testament of Love, etc. and various miscellaneous works, some of which material is now known to be spuriously attributed to Chaucer. At the end is The Story of the Siege of Thebes, by John Lidgate (1370?-1451?) with a glossary of 'old and obscure' and 'hard' words in Chaucer. Thomas Speght (-1621), a schoolmaster, produced his first edition of Chaucer's Works in 1598, with the letter of Francis Beaumont (-1624) of Leicestershire, which justifies Chaucer's use of language 'somewhat too broad and plain' and his 'Incivility' and 'undecent Speeches.' For his second edition of 1602, Speght sought the assistance of Francis Thynne (1545?-1608), whose father had published an edition of Chaucer in 1532. (hence presumably the inclusion of the dedication to Henry VIII).
[Stock No. 25154]