“LAWRENCE’S STYLE IS ALWAYS VIGOROUS, AND HE IS NEVER DULL”: BRAKESPEARE, HANDSOME 1868 FIRST EDITION
[LAWRENCE, George Alfred]. Brakespeare; or, the Fortunes of a Free Lance. By the Author of “Guy Livingstone.” London: Tinsley Brothers, 1868. Three volumes. Small octavo, late 19th-century three-quarter green morocco, raised bands, top edges gilt. $550.
First edition of this popular novel of the wars between France and England in the 14th century, handsomely bound by the Knickerbocker Press.
“In 1857 Lawrence astonished novel-readers with his Guy Livingstone, with its deification of strength and very questionable morality. The hostile critics depicted the hero as a mixture of the prize-fighter and the libertine, while the admirers of the book praised the disregard of conventionalities and personal daring of both the hero and the author… It had a large sale, and from this time forward Lawrence produced a work of fiction nearly every alternate year… In his numerous books Lawrence’s style is always vigorous, and he is never dull” (DNB). “Brakespeare is a free companion, like the famous mercenary Sir John Hawkwood… The fighting scenes reveal the inspiration of the Norse sagas, which were at the height of a fresh popularity in Lawrence and Kingsley’s time” (Baker & Packman, A Guide to the Best Fiction, 292). Bookplate in each volume (evidence of removal from Volume II).