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    First Appearance in English of the Complete Decameron

    Giovanni Boccaccio. [The Decameron]. The Modell of Wit, Mirth, Eloquence, and Conversation. London: Isaac Jaggard for Mathew Lownes, 1625-1620. Second edition of Volume I, first edition of Volume II. Two small folio volumes in one. Illustrated with woodcuts. Early binding in full calf over boards. Professionally rebacked with the original backstrip retained. Hinges reinforced. Lacking first and final blanks in both volumes. Two engraved title pages bound at the front, one dated 1620, the other, 1625; both title pages have been restored and mounted on paper, one is missing a four inch by four inch portion of the upper corner. Restoration to the first two leaves, with some minor loss to the text. A page from a dealer catalog is tipped to the front pastedown. Some slight water damage to the five final leaves; also, ink notations in an early hand to the recto of the final leaf. An attractive, tight copy in very good condition of the first appearance in English of this cornerstone of European literature.

    Up to this point Boccaccio was well known in England. Several of the stories had been translated and published with other texts. But it wasn't until 1620 when the "first practically complete edition appeared, translated inaccurately, but very splendidly, apparently from the French version of Antonione Le Macon. Isaac Jaggard published it, in folio in two parts, with woodcuts, and the title bore no translator's name" (Hutton). Mixed edition sets such as this are not uncommon. As there have been no records of a second edition of the second volume, it is assumed that Jaggard printed a larger run of the first edition of volume two in anticipation of a second edition.

    Edward Hutton, Giovanni Boccaccio, p. 315. Pforzheimer 71 & 72.


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    Auction Dates
    September, 2011
    13th-14th Tuesday-Wednesday
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