Chelsea: Ashendene Press, 1913. First edition. One of 145 unnumbered copies on paper from the total edition of 153 (8 were on vellum). A Fine copy in the original publisher's binding of full brown calf, housed in a slipcase. 29 woodcuts: 2 are full-page, 26 by Charles M. Gere, 3 by Margaret Gere; Initials by Graily Hewitt in red and blue; headings to the chapters and shoulder notes in red. Subiaco type on specially-made Batchelor Ashendene handmade paper with watermark bearing the Knight in Armor.
Malory translated and compiled the legends of Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot, Guinevere, Sir Gawain, and the Knights of the Round Table, using numerous French and English sources. His work was first published in 1485 by William Caxton, the first English printer. It proved immensely popular and became the basis for the countless retellings and adaptations throughout the next five centuries (with a few periods of silence, namely 1634 - 1816). We can think of no other collection of stories that have more fully captured the imagination and passion of the English people than the Arthurian legends.
"It is the only true English epic; its matter is 'the Matter of England'. The matchless style, the humour, the magnificence, the magic that takes away the breath, combine in a masterpiece of legendary narrative. Each century has produced its own version of the Arthurian tapestry, but Malory's will never be forgotten." (Printing and the Mind of Man, 29) Fine (Item #1825)
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