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    Spenser Scholar and Editor John Upton's Copy
    of the 1611 Edition of Spenser's Faerie Queene

    [Edmund Spenser. The Faerie Queen: The Shepheards Calendar: Together With The Other Works of England's Arch-Poët, Edm. Spenser. Collected into one Volume, and carefully corrected. [London]: Printed by H. L for Mathew Lownes, 1611]. First collected folio edition. Folio in sixes (approximately 10.5 x 7.125 inches; 267 x 180 mm.). [2, dedication (verso blank)], 352 (of 363), [14], [2, blank]; [10], 56; [134] pages. Signature collation: A-Y6 Aa-Hh6 Ii4 (Ii4 blank) [paragraph mark]8 A-E6 F4 (F4 blank) A-L6 M2. Lacking general title (A1), Hh3-Hh6, Ii1-Ii2; F4 (blank); and M2 (blank). Woodcut illustrations in The Shepheards Calender; decorative woodcut head- and tail-pieces and initials.
    The Minor Poems, Colin Clout, Prothalamium, Amoretti and Epithalamium, Foure Hymnes, Daphnaida, Complaints (omitting Mother Hubberd's Tale) with separate titles, dated 1611, on A1, C2, E3, F5, G4, H4, and K6 of the final sequence.
    Contemporary sheep (worn and crudely repaired). Covers with blind fillet border. Spine with five raised bands. Joints cracking; hinges crudely repaired. Lacking free endpapers. Dampstaining in upper gutter throughout, heavier in places. Several leaves with ink spots or stains. First four leaves strengthened or repaired; last leaf of text (M1?), the end of "The visions of Bellay," repaired, with a decorative woodcut tail-piece cut and mounted on the blank verso. A good copy, with an important provenance.
    From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Please visit for an extended description of this lot.

    More Information:

    A reissue of the 1609 edition of The Faerie Queene, with a cancel title-page dated 1611, serving as a collective title-page for the author's works. In this issue, stanza 1 on leaf B3r begins "Yo~ug knight," and the catchword on R3r is "She." The colophon is dated 1609. The second part of The Faerie Queene has a separate title-page dated 1609. "A Letter of the Authors, expounding his whole intention in the course of this worke' (STC 23086.3) has a caption title, and separate register. In this issue, the first line of text ends: "Alle-".


    The Shepheards Calender (STC 23093.5) has a separate title-page dated 1611, separate pagination, and register. Colin Clouts Come Home Againe (STC 23077.3), Prothalamion or A Spousall Verse,  Amoretti and Epithalamion, Foure Hymnes, Daphnaida. An Elegie upon the Death of the Noble and vertuous Douglas Howard..., and Complaints Containing Sundry Small Poemes of the Worlds Vanitie, The Teares of the Muses, and Muiopotmos, or The Fate of the Butterfly, each have separate title-pages with the imprint: "At London Printed by H. L. for Mathew Lownes", and continuous register. Includes translations of Du Bellay's "Les antiquitez de Rome" and "Visions," Vergil's "Gnat," and Petrarch's "Visions."


    ESTC S123523. Johnson, Spenser, 12, 19. Pforzheimer 972. STC (2nd ed.) 23083.3.


    This copy has early ink ownership inscriptions in several hands, and additionally, is heavily annotated in ink by an eighteenth-century hand, apparently that of Spenser scholar and editor John Upton [1707-1760], with many of the annotations appearing verbatim in the notes to his 1758 edition of Spenser's Faerie Queene.


    An important early editor of Edmund Spenser, John Upton (1707-1760) "is best known for the notes in his 1758 edition of Spenser's great romance epic The Faerie Queene, which was first published in 1590 (books 1-3) and 1596 (books 4-6)" (Wikipedia).


    "John Upton's Faerie Queene was the first attempt at an original-spelling, annotated edition of the Faerie Queene. The extensive notes, tracing sources and identifying historical personages, are still valuable; all later annotators are indebted to Upton's erudition" (


    The Beinecke Library has a copy of Upton's 1758 edition, with annotations in his hand. The handwriting in this copy of the 1611 edition matches that of Upton's in the Beinecke 1758 edition (see "An early Spenser editor annotates The Faerie Queene," at


    In the Preface to his 1758 edition of Spenser's Faerie Queene, Upton writes (Volume I, pages xxxviii-xxxix): "In the year 1590 Spenser published part of his grand work...with this title, The Faerie Queene, disposed into twelve books, fashioning twelve moral virtues...About six years after, the three first books were reprinted, wherein he made some additions and alterations...and added three other books, intitled, The Second part of the Fairy Queene. He died in the year 1598. and in 1609 was printed a Folio edition of his poem, containing two new Cantos, the only remains of a lost book, intitled The Legend of Constancie. In this Edition I have found some readings, different from any in the former editions, that must come originally from the poet himself...There are three other editions in Folio, which I have frequently consulted, and have mentioned in the notes; printed in the years, 1611, 1617 and 1679. These three are of very little authority; and generally follow the spelling of the times."


    Upton continues on pages xl-xli of the Preface: "I never had but one scheme in publishing this poem, and that was to print the context, as the Author gave it; and to reserve for the notes all kind of conjectural emendations. I have two copies of the first edition, printed in the year 1590. and yet these have several variations; which may be accounted for, by supposing the alterations made, while the copy was working off at the press. This first edition, containing the three first books, I made the groundwork of mine; and sent it to the press, with such alterations, as seemed to me the poet's own; and which have the authorities of the second edition in quarto, printed in the year 1596, and of the Folio of 1609. The most material of these alterations are mentioned in the notes. The fourth, fifth, and sixth books, are chiefly printed from the edition of 1596. I have likewise two copies of this, in some places differing, as the edition above mentioned." 


    In this copy of the 1611 edition, many of the annotations in Upton's hand match his "Notes on the Fairy Queen" as they appear at the end of Volume II of his 1758 edition. For example: on page 57, in Canto XII of the "First Booke of the Faerie Queene," of the 1611 edition, annotations in the outer margin beside Stanza 39 read: "Tasso XVIII, 96. / Hymn of heavenly Love." and those at the foot of the page: "See Thom. Aquinas Quaest. CVIII. / De ordinatione, Angel secundum hierarch. / ias & ordines. Dante." Upton's "Notes on the First Booke of the Fairy Queen," Canto XII, Stanza XXXIX, on page 426 of Volume II read: "See Thom. Aquinas, Quaest. cviii. De ordinatione Angelorum secundum Hierarchias et Ordines. And Dante Parad. Canto xxviii. Christian poetry could hardly exist without this superintendant, and subordinate administration of angelic orders: accordingly we scarce read a christian poet, but we see allusions to these triple degrees, or trinall triplicities, as Spenser calls them here, and in his hymne of Heavenly Love."


    The annotations at the foot of page 60 (Canto I of The Second Booke), read: "Prudence is a kind of intellectual virtue, & a fit / directness of Temperance a moral virtue:-see / Plato de deg. L.3. calls. Pr. the leading virtue. / Sir Hugh de Paganis founder of the / order of Knights Templar: who vowed / povertie, charity, & obedience: & to defend / all...went to Jerusalem."

    In the "Notes on the Second Book of the Fairy Queen," page 432, Canto I, Stanza VII: "Sir Huon I take to represent Sir Hugh de Paganis founder of the knights templars, who were instituted to defend the christians, and fights against the Sarazins: they wore a red-cross on their breast. 'Tis Spenser's manner to anticipate his stories, and to give the names of persons, whom he intends to introduce in some other Canto or book." The notes to Stanza VIII, also on page 432: "These expressions are artfully brought in by the poet, that those who look deeper than the dead letter, may not be misled in their interpretation of his historical allusions. However the moral of the fable is, that prudence should accompany temperance. Prudentia est rerum expetendarum fugiendarumq; scientia. Cic. Off. i. 43. Prudence is a kind of intellectual virtue and a proper directress of temperance, a moral virtue.


    There are numerous other examples of annotations that have made it into Upton's 1758 edition of Spenser's Faerie Queene.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
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