"VIVID PAGEANT OF SCENERY AND HISTORICAL ACCURACY"
AINSWORTH, W. Harrison. Merry England. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1874. Three volumes. Small octavo, early 20th-century three-quarter red morocco, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut. $700.
First edition, handsomely bound.
A tale of England in the fourteenth century, with Wat Tyler of the 1381 Peasant's Revolt a central character. "Beginning with old-fashioned Gothic stories, [Ainsworth] turned out a long series of pseudo-historical romances… On a ground of solid antiquarianism Ainsworth applied 'local color' thickly, touching it off with sentiment, rhetoric and horror" (Baugh et al.., 1275-76). "Ainsworth's novels are noteworthy… for their vivid pageant of scenery and historical accuracy" (Kunitz & Haycraft, 7).
A handsome set of volumes.