The Paston Letters

    John Fenn. Original Letters, Written during the Reigns of Henry VI, Edward IV, and Richard III, by various Persons of Rank and Consequence; containing many curious Anecdotes, relative to that turbulent and bloody, but hitherto dark, Period of our History; and Elucidating, not only Public Matters of State, but likewise the Private Manners of the Age.... London: G. G. J. and J. Robinson, 1787, 1789; and London: John Murray, 1823.

    Second edition, Volumes I and II (bound together); first edition, Volumes III, IV, and V. Five octavo volumes in four. lxxxvii, 301, 363; xxxv, 451; xxxii, 478; lxxvi, 472 pages. Frontispieces, some in color. Plates. Parallel mediaeval and modern texts.

    Uniform nineteenth-century binding, half morocco over cloth boards. Raised bands. Gilt lettering to spines. Marbled endpapers. Armorial bookplates to front pastedowns of Henry Edward Bunbury, 7th Baronet (1778-1860) of Stanney Hall. Corners bumped; extremities rubbed. Some foxing to plates and title pages. Overall, a sound and tightly bound set in very good condition.

    When English antiquary John Fenn purchased a collection of letters relating to the Paston family (1422-1509) he set about publishing them. The first two volumes proved such a success that two years later he published another batch - Volumes III and IV. Some time later, after his death, his son brought out a fifth and final volume.

    Henry Stanley Bennett, The Pastons and Their England, xx. ESTC, N10150, T149304.

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