ELAINE...Illustrated by Gustave Doré
London: Edward Moxon, 1868. 41 x 31 cm. Original purple leather grained decorated bevel edge cloth stamped in black and gilt, grey endpapers. pp (6), 84 + frontispiece and 8 other plates, all with tissue guards save the frontispiece, where it is lacking. Covers heavily damp stained, with much loss of colour, some bubbling to front cover; wear to edges and spine ends; small hole to spine cloth; mild scattered light soil spots in text; in all, just fair externally, internally VG or better, unworn, tight in the binding, inner hinges not cracked (unusually). At front is an ink gift inscription which reads " To Mary - with Alfred's fondest love and best wishes - November 12th, 1874". This does not appear to me to be in Tennyson's hand; possibly it is a secretarial inscription. The poem is an extract from IDYLLS OF THE KING. Elaine of Astolat was in love with Sir Lancelot and nursed him back to health after he was wounded in a tournament, but her love was unrequited. Elaine died of heartbreak and her body was floated down the Thames to Camelot, clutching a lily. Her story was the inspiration for Tennyson's earlier poem "The Lady of Shallot". Moxon first published this Doré - illustrated edition in 1867. The usual atmospheric haunting illustrations characteristic of Doré. Note: large 3 kg parcel, extra shipping may be required.