WITH 39 FOLIO WOOD-ENGRAVINGS BY GUSTAVE DORÉ: COLERIDGE'S RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER
(DORÉ, Gustave) COLERIDGE, Samuel Taylor. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1883. Large, slim folio (15 by 18-1/2 inches), original pictorial brown cloth gilt, beveled boards, all edges gilt. $3800.
Later American edition of Doré's lavishly illustrated version of Coleridge's classic, a handsome folio volume with 39 striking full-page folio wood-engravings, title page and two large engraved vignettes by Doré, in original cloth.
"One can hardly deny that Doré is not merely one of the most popular but also one of the greatest of all illustrators… Perhaps Taine summed up Doré's appeal most eloquently: 'every imagination appeared languid in comparison with his. For energy, force, superabundance, originality, sparkle, and gloomy grandeur, I know only one equal to his—that of Tintoretto" (Ray, 327-29). "In December 1875, Doré did a set of engravings that would make Coleridge's poem famous. Few people today realize how much the popularity of that poem owed to the many Doré editions which finally made it come to life" (Malan, 131). "Doré's illustrations… immediately and marvelously invoke the eerie, magical, superstitious world which Coleridge created… Waterspouts, foundering ships, dark looming figures seem to leap from Coleridge's poetic imagination to Doré's wood blocks" (Anthony Burgess). First published in London in 1876, in an even larger format but with poor quality workmanship and an exorbitant price. The London edition was not reprinted, while the New York edition published by Harper & Brothers in the same year, esteemed for its "high quality," was very popular and reprinted a number of times. Malan, 261.
Interior clean and fine. Expert restoration to cloth corners, joints, inner paper hinges and endpapers; gilt bright. A very good, nicely refurbished copy of the more desirable American edition.