The History of The Valiant Knight Arthur of Little Britain. A Romance of Chivalry
London: Printed for White, Cochrane, and Co., 1814. Limited edition. Fine. Hardcover. Item #22014
4to.(16),xxvii,(1),544. Illustrated with plates based on drawings in a manuscript of the original romance. Edition limited to 175 regular copies and 25 large paper copies. Even though this copy has very generous margins, we believe it is one of the 175 copies.
Translated from the original French by Lord Berners (ca. 1467-1533), this is the third (or possibly the fourth) edition, and the first with illustrations. Previous editions are unobtainable; there are two recorded, one in 1555 or 1560, printed by Redbourne, and another in 1582 printed by East. Another edition is reported but not seen. This edition is edited by Edward Vernor Utterson, who has provided a 16 page preface from which the above information is taken.
Contemporary tan straight-grain morocco, spine in six compartments, gilt. Boards tooled with gilt rules and upper and lower boards tooled with gilt armorial central devices. All textblock edges gilt; board edges ruled in gilt. Endpapers of brown coated paper. Occasional light foxing, corners worn, but a very good copy.
This is the version with the contemporary colored illustrations. All illustrations are expertly colored in the manner of medieval miniatures. The coloring is clear, expert and glowing.