The Thomas J. Wise Edition of the Faerie Queen[Edmund Spenser]. Spenser's Faerie Queene, a Poem in Six Books with the Fragment Mutabilitie. London: Printed at the Chiswick Press for George Allen, 1895-1897.
First edition, thus. Limited to 1,000 sets. Six quarto volumes. lxxxvii, 250; viii, 251-528; viii, 529-806; viii, 807-1,044; viii. 1,045-1,276; viii, 1,277-1,546. Dozens of full-page woodcuts and over a hundred small headings and tailpieces by Walter Crane in high Art Nouveau style. Edited by Thomas J. Wise, who provides a lengthy Preface.
Handsomely bound by Lloyd, Wallis, and Lloyd in contemporary full green crushed morocco. Gilt fillets to boards. Raised bands and gilt designs and lettering to spines. Top edges gilt. Inner dentelles. Marbled endpapers. Original pictorial wrappers bound in each volume. Fine.
Thomas J. Wise's edition of the Faerie Queen was one of the most anticipated literary publications of its time. Issued serially in nineteen parts, the book began to receive glowing reviews with the issuance of the first part. From the March 9, 1895 issue of The Literary World: "Mr. Walter Crane is the man of all men to illustrated the Faerie Queene, and his work here is one of his finest achievements. His inexhaustible fancy in decoration and his poetic feeling in his figure pieces combine to make his full page designs wonderfully appropriate and pleasing. [...] Walter Crane is a true descendant in the spirit of Edmund Spenser, and their meeting in this fair volume is a source of pure joy to lovers of beautiful verse and masterly drawing."
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