Spenser's Faerie Queene

Edited by Thomas J. Wise

SPENSER, Edmund / CRANE, Walter

ONE OF JUST 27 SETS ON JAPON

CRANE, Walter Spenser's Faerie Queene Edited by Thomas J. Wise

George Allen, 1894.

First edition. This set being one of only 27 copies printed on Japanese Vellum. Nineteen parts, in the original printed wrappers, each bearing Crane's striking illustrations to the upper cover. Loosely inserted are two slips from the publishers, one describing the edition and one to accompany the final volume, thanking Messrs. Waterlow & Sons for their printing of the illustrations. Wonderfully illustrated by Walter Crane, with decorative title pages, 88 full page illustrations plus head and tail pieces and decorative initials. A fine set, which is exceptionally bright and clean. there are a couple of ink marks to the lower wrapper of volume X and some creasing to the lower edge of the wrappers, which fold below the text block. Nonetheless an exceptional survival of this beautiful work. Housed in three folding cloth boxes.

A truly marvellous production and a striking example of Crane's work, which wonderfully displays the principles of the Arts and Crafts Movement, using good quality materials and beautifully engraved, elegant decoration.
Crane was closely associated with the Pre-Raphaelite group. Influenced by the teachings of John Ruskin he served an apprenticeship under William James Linton, an engraver favoured by Rossetti. He was also associated with William Morris through a joint involvement in the socialist movement and spent much time aiding the Art Worker's Guild, which aimed to bring art into the daily life of all classes of society.
The Faerie Queene is an epic poem by Edmund Spenser, which follows the adventures of a number of medieval knights. The poem draws on both history and myths in particular the legends of King Arthur. Each book follows the adventures of a knight who represents a particular virtue (holiness, temperance, chastity, friendship, justice and courtesy) and who has that quality in him or herself tested by the plot.

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