The First John Urry Edition of Geoffrey Chaucer

    [Geoffrey Chaucer]. John Urry. The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, Compared With the Former Editions, and Many Valuable MSS. Out of Which, Three Tales are Added Which Were Never Before Printed, by John Urry, Student of Christ-Church, Oxon. Deceased: Together With a Glossary, By a Student of the Same College. To the Whole is Prefixed the Author's Life, Newly Written, and a Preface, Giving an Account of This Edition. London: Bernard Lintot, 1721.

    First Urry edition. Elephant folio. [52], 626, 81 [index], [1] errata. Copper-engraved frontis portrait of Urry by Pigné, missing the Chaucer portrait, title vignette, woodcut head- and tailpieces, initials, and 26 half-page engravings to illustrate each of the Canterbury Tales.

    Contemporary full calf with decoration stamped in blind on the boards. Eight compartments between seven raised bands. Spine shows evidence of old and significant repairs, still there is a 4 inch split in the joint of the front board. Boards dark with age, scuffed and worn along the edges and corners. Front free endpaper missing. Frontis has ghosted onto the facing title page. Front hinge cracked. Two small armorial bookplates on the front pastedown. The contents are sound and reasonably bright and overall the book is in very good condition.

    Urry's edition includes three previously unpublished tales: "The Adventure of the Pardoner and Tapster at the Inn at Canterbury", "The Merchant's Second Tale", and "The Coke's Tale of Gamelyn". Urry began editing this edition of Chaucer in 1711 but died in 1715 before it could be completed. The project was transferred to Thomas Ainsworth, who died in 1719, and finally to Timothy Thomas, who completed it. Lowndes says 1000 copies were printed.

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    October, 2008
    16th-18th Thursday-Saturday
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