FIRST ISSUE OF TENNYSON’S IDYLLS OF THE KING, HANDSOMELY BOUND BY MACDONALD
TENNYSON, Alfred. Idylls of the King. London: Edward Moxon, 1859. 12mo, 19th-century full red morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt.
First edition, first issue, of the Arthurian legends in verse, handsomely bound in full red morocco-gilt by MacDonald.
"By the early 19th century, the Arthurian legends had become a literary anachronism. Tennyson's poetry brought about a rebirth of interest in the material and eventually placed it on a new plateau of respect and significance for writers and artists… Tennyson's recreation of the Arthurian world is an attempt to reform his generation by showing the effects of sensuality, materialism and spiritual blindness" (Lacy, 446-49). His message found a ready audience: these first four of what would eventually be a dozen connected poems "received a welcome so instantaneous as at once to restore [their] author to his lost place in the affections of many… Men so different as Macaulay, Dickens, and Ruskin swelled the chorus of enthusiastic praise… From the publication of the first Idylls, until the end of the poet's life his fame and popularity continued without check" (DNB). First issue, without publisher's imprint on verso of title page. Without advertisements. Dodd, Mead, 35-37. Lowndes, 2605. CBEL III:254. OCEL I:443. Bookplate.
Only slightest rubbing and toning to spine. An about-fine copy.