"A DELIGHTFUL ROMANCE OF THE ENGLISH CRUSADING TIMES" (REVIEW OF REVIEWS)
WISTER, Owen. The Dragon of Wantley. His Rise His Voracity & His Downfall. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1892. Quarto, 20th-century three-quarter brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, top edge gilt. $950.
First edition of Wister's charming and humorous interpretation of The Dragon of Wantley, with 57 illustrations (including vignettes) by John Stewardson, signed by Owen Wister, handsomely bound in three-quarter morocco-gilt.
A traditional legend about a knight slaying a dragon in South Yorkshire, The Dragon of Wantley has been recounted many times: in a popular comic ballad in 1685; in Thomas Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry in 1767; and throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, including here. This novel, by Owen Wister, takes a different approach to the legend, comically recounting the true story of the dragon. Written as a Christmas romance, the book was highly successful, going into four editions over the next decade. Likely adding to that success were the lovely Gothic-inspired woodcut-style illustrations (including headpieces, tailpieces, and other embellishments) by John Stewardson. Owner label partially removed.
Only occasional soiling to interior, binding quite lovely. An exceptional signed copy.