URRY’S 1721 ILLUSTRATED FOLIO EDITION OF CHAUCER, WITH THREE PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED TALES—ONE OF ONLY 250 LARGE-PAPER COPIES, VERY HANDSOMELY BOUND
CHAUCER, Geoffrey. The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, Compared with the Former Editions, and many valuable MSS… by John Urry. London: Bernard Lintot, 1721. Folio, period-style full black morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine and covers, raised bands, marbled endpapers. $6500.
First printing of Urry’s illustrated folio edition of Chaucer’s works, one of only 250 large-paper copies issued. The first collected Chaucer in the easier-to-read Roman typeface, with three previously unpublished tales.
"Except for Shakespeare, Chaucer is foremost among writers in the English language" (Bloom, The Western Canon, 105). This edition beautifully illustrated with fine copper-engraved portraits, one of Chaucer by Vertue and one of Urry by Pigue, as well as a handsome title page vignette and numerous in-text copper engravings of the various Canterbury pilgrims. Woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces throughout. This edition contains three previously unpublished tales: "The Coke's Tale of Gamelyn," "The Merchant's Second Tale" and "The Adventure of the Pardoner and Tapster at the Inn at Canterbury." Also included are a Life of Chaucer, a new preface, and a glossary of Middle English terms. With errata on last page. Hammond, 128-30. Lowndes, 426. Ruggiers, 93-115.
Occasional foxing. Period-style morocco-gilt binding fine and quite handsome. A scarce and desirable large-paper copy.