Londres: Guillaume Pickering, 1835. First edition. Hardcover. Very good. Item #20109
2 volumes. 12mo. Illustrated with lithographs of the manuscripts, some with initials colored by hand in red and blue. Title page in Volume 1 in both English and French..
Publisher's original cloth in a small sand grain design. This is clearly Winterbottom's Type 'M' (Tomlinson). Krupp (p.30) notes this as San1, but without a Winterbottom cross-reference. She ascribes an appearance date of 1850 for this early design; to find it on books published in 1835 is a treat. That it would appear on a Pickering work should be no surprise. Pickering started experimenting with bookcloth as early as 1823 through his binder, Archibald Leighton, who was responsible for many innovations in the design and use of early bookcloth.
The text constitutes mainly the remains of Thomas of Britain's Tristan Romance, composed in the 12th and 13th centuries in Norman French and Greek, here edited and rendered in the originals by Fr. MIchel.
This is a very good set; the printed paper labels are darkened a bit and have old numerals handwritten on them. There are also what appear to be private library shelf stickers at the bases of the spines, but we have been unable to discover their provenance, nor are there any notes in the books themselves. Endpapers lightly foxed and corners bent but still sturdy in their original cloth binding.
Fairly scarce. A third volume with additional Tristan fragments was issued in 1839, not present her. There is an old note on the front free endpaper indicating that this is one of 250 copies, but we have not been able to confirm that limitation.
This is the first printed edition of Thomas of Britain. It dates from about 1170, and includes Tristan's marriage and the Hall of Statues, his return to Cornwall, and the lovers' deaths, using the motif of the sails. Reiss, Reiss & Taylor, Nrs. 930 and 956. A translation into English was issued by Pickering the same year.