London: Early English Text Society, 1976. First edition. Hardcover. Also: 20952. Fine. Item #17672
Large, thick 4to. First edition. Gilt-lettered cloth boards. Facsimile of the 473-leaf manuscript. Cloth lightly rubbed, else this is a fine copy. Except for the introduction by Ker, the book is comprised entirely of photographs of the celebrated manuscript. The introduction discusses not only the paper and writing, but also the history of the manuscript, 'discovered' in 1934. It was known for at least 100 years prior to that date as a copy of the Morte d'Arthur, but dismissed as a defective copy of the text used by Caxton. In 1934 it was shown that the Winchester manuscript is a separate text from Caxton's, differing in many details. This full photographic reproduction is in black and white, but two plates are printed in red as well, to show the unusual scribal technique of using red ink for certain names and phrases. Uncommon in the first edition. Gaines A25.