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De Confessione Amantis.

GOWER (John).

GOWER (John).

De Confessione Amantis.

Printed in double columns in black letter.

Third Edition. Folio. [293 x 190 x 31 mm]. [183]ff. Bound in 18th century calf, rebacked c.1900, with new endleaves. (Worn).
[Imprinted at London: In Fletestrete by Thomas Berthelette, the XII. daie of Marche [1554].

STC 12144. Pforzheimer 422 (with same leaves misnumbered except for Fol.77 which is numbered correctly).

Lacking 15 leaves, including the final blank: the title and following six leaves (*1-*6, A1), A6, C1 and the final six leaves (Ii1-Ii6). Fol.5 and Fol.51 have some loss to the blank margin at the foot, Fol.107 has a closed tear in the blank outer margin, Fol.136 has small loss at the blank upper corner and Fol.186 at the blank lower corner. There is a light damp-stain at the foot of the first four leaves and the outer margin of Fol.14-17, and a few pages (notably Fols. 2, 7, 14 and 186) have some staining or soiling. An early reader has marked a few passages and corrected some headlines in ink and a later reader has added a few pencil notes. It is not the best copy in the world, but it is largely clean and has been in this state for a century or more.

Third edition of Gower's great Middle English poem, completed in about 1390. It was first printed by Caxton in 1483, and then by Berthelet in 1532. This 1554 edition is a paginary reprint, with some corrections, of the 1532 text, with the preliminary leaves compressed into two fewer leaves. It was not reprinted again until the Chalmers edition of 1810. "The Tale of Pericles", found in the eighth book under the name of "Apollonius of Tyre", was the inspiration for Shakespeare's Pericles. An earlier owner also makes reference to the Story of the Coffers on Fol.96 and its association with the Caskets of the Merchant of Venice.

Bookplate of Edmund McClure A.M.

Stock no. ebc3582

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Price: £1500