SPENSER'S FAERIE QUEENE: a poem in six books, with the fragment Mutabilitie. Edited by Thomas J. Wise
London: George Allen, 1895-97, 1897. Six volumes, quarto, original light cream pictorial cloth stamped in gilt and red, top edges gilt, others untrimmed, original red on pink illustrated card covers bound in. Fore and bottom page edges tanned; light yellowing to free endpapers from binding; very light spine yellowing; soft bruise to upper inner corner of front covers; volume I has neat professional repairs to inner hinges, rear joint, and spine ends, with light darkening at ends, gilt imprint a little flaked; volume VI has one very small brown spot on the spine; volume II has a hairline crack to front inner hinge neatly repaired; a fine set otherwise, no owner names or plates, the vulnerable white cloth remarkably clean. Edition of 1000 copies on handmade paper printed by Charles Whittingham of the Chiswick Press. 88 full- page woodcut illustrations (one double-page), 132 head and tailpieces, numerous woodcut initials, uniform illustration to front covers. Edited by the eminent book collector, bibliographer, and forger Thomas J. Wise. A very handsome production of this great classic of late 16th century English literature, an epic poem, one of the longest in the language, and still never completed. Considered by many to be Walter Crane's best work in black & white, it was his most extensive commission as a book illustrator, taking three years to complete. Note: heavy set, extra postage will be required.
Condition: Binding: Hardcover