London: Privately Printed, 1876: 1873, 1873, 1873, 1875. First editions. First edition in English of The Rhein–Gold (1873), The Walkyrie (1873), Siegfried (1873), and Dusk of the Gods (1875). Collating: [iv], 46, [ii, half-title], 61, [i, blank], 66, [ii, half title], 59, [i, blank]. This is the real first edition of the complete librettos (all the dialogue and stage directions) for all 4 parts, sequentially printed for private circulation only, translated by Alfred Forman, and furthermore, our edition precedes the first complete performance of the Ring cycle at Bayreuth in Aug. 1876. And here's the clincher, this copy with the dated signature of actress Alma Murray (February 27, 1876), wife of the translator, Alfred Forman!
Bound in what appears to be the original binding of blue cloth over paper-covered boards, gilt title on the spine. With a half title and title page, dated 1876, then apparently gathering the separately printed librettos into one volume. Each libretto with printed (dated) title page, all separately paginated. Our best guess is that after separately printing and distributing his individual librettos, Alfred Forman issued them as a collective whole in 1876 with a general half-title, title page and half-titles for Walkyrie and Dusk of the Gods (each apparently inserted in order to showcase poems by Forman). How many of these were bound up is unknown, but it must have been only a handful as they appear completely unrepresented in an onlince census of institutional holdings.
Confusingly, there seem to be several listings on WorldCat for an 1875 London edition of the work, however, when you look at the title page of this supposed 1875 edition, it reads: "a verbatim re-issue of the edition of 1877", clearly not published in 1875. Institutional holdings of the separately printed librettos appear to tally as follows: Walkyrie - 3, Siegfried - 1, Dusk of the Gods - 1. Decidedly rare, this copy with an exceptional provenance. (Item #1824)