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Including the first edition of the life of Reynard's son Reynardine

[REYNARD THE FOX].
The most delectable history of Reynard the Fox. Newly corrected and purged...
London, Thomas Ilive for Edward Brewster,1701.
Including:
[REYNARD THE FOX].
The most pleasant and delightful history of Reynard the Fox. The second part. ...
London, for Edward Brewster, 1681.
[REYNARD THE FOX, ADDITIONS]. The shifts of Reynardine the son of Reynard the Fox, ...
London, Thomas James for Edward Brewster and Thomas Passenger, 1684. 3 parts in 1 volume. 4to.
With woodcut of King Lion's court on title-page, 61 woodcuts in text of part 1 (including 23 repeats), 15 woodcuts in part 2, all repeated from part 1. Late 18th-century calf.
€ 6,500
One of the rare sets of all 3 parts of the English Reynard the Fox, the third part here in its first edition. The Reynard stories were already established as a coherent collection in the 12th century and were first printed in 1479, in a Dutch prose edition. They became especially well known when translated into English (and adapted) for Caxton's 1481 edition (in 43 chapters). The publisher Edward Alde in London began work on an extensive revision of Caxton's text, with many new additions, but he published only the first part, probably in 1620 (the first edition of the present part 1), containing 25 chapters, some corresponding with chapters in Caxton's edition and some not. Although the second part would have to wait 52 years, the first part quickly became the standard English version of the Reynard the Fox stories, with 8 editions from 1620 to 1671. Its language was modernized, giving both a view of the stories as they were known through most of two centuries and insights into English values and culture of the time. In 1684 Brewster added the present first edition of part 3, giving the adventures of Reynard's son Reynardine.
With 20th-century woodcut bookplate. The woodcut on C1 of part 1 is printed upside down. In good condition, with parts 2 and 3 slightly browned. One front endleaf is detached, the spine slightly damaged at the head and the front hinge cracked.
Ebert II, 18879; ESTC T60836, R218371, R40614; Kirmse 15; Menke V B c (note on pp. 221-222), nos. 35, 29, 30; Wing S3512, S3436 (parts 1-2); not in Prien.
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Literature & linguistics  >  Emblem, Fable & Songbooks | English, French & German Literature