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SOLD - GORGEOUS vintage books 2 Vol Edition of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, 1885 Authentic Uncut Pages special intro & glossary

SOLD - GORGEOUS vintage books 2 Vol Edition of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, 1885 Authentic Uncut Pages special intro & glossary

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Overview

  • Vintage item from the 1800s
  • Favorited by: 10 people
  • Gift message available
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From New Haven, CT
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Description

There is no other book like this one.

I wrote out a description for this which I think you should read, absolutely, but I have to start here saying this book written in the freaking middle ages has my favorite, favorite, favorite, FAVORITE insult of ALL TIME in it. Can you believe that? Believe it. Chaucer was that good, and this book is THAT GOOD. You'll hear it and if you're anything like me, you won't be able to get it out of your mind. There is no better insult in the history of literature, I'll have you know. It is:

"I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity." - A Knightes Tale, The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer

CHILLS. So, so good. Sigh. I almost can't handle it. So good.

Okay now on to the description haha...

Geoffrey Chaucer was and is and always will be a genius of prose and imagination. He wrote The Canterbury Tales in the 1300s (the FOURTEENTH CENTURY!) and they are still being read today far and wide across the world by people of all ages.

I'd argue you should buy this copy above all others, for many reasons, but if you buy any copy you will be buying a treasure, that's for sure. This one is just more of a treasure than the rest ;) It is one of the few ever from the 19th century you can find to buy, it is absolutely unique and cannot be found elsewhere, it has uncut pages so you feel you are reading a manuscript bundled from a time long past, it has smudges on the covers that are worn and tell of the centuries that have happened since they were published, but the binding is tight and the pages are clean and unmarked inside which is almost a miracle I have to say. The endpapers look like they have been speckled with soot, and it all comes together into such a masterwork of book publishing that showcases the lasting qualities of the best, most special books through time and space.

The tales are basically a series of short stories that span (in this case) two volumes and thousands of verses and follow different characters, one per story, and the ins and outs of their lives, perspectives, dramas, tragedies, follies and in some cases successes. The tales are written in Middle English, so they are hard to read in their original language, but this authentic edition pulls it off by providing the text in its original wording and spelling (which just absolutely transports you and enchants you, trust me) and a helpful glossary at the back of both volumes to help guide you if you get stuck -- but you won't get stuck, I would put my money on it, because once you get into the flow of the language everything seems to fall into place and make sense. Suddenly "Ful many a riche contre had he wonne;" is obviously "Full many a rich country had he won" and words like "seyde" replace "said" so seamlessly it's pretty strange and wondrous.

Here are the titles of the 14 tales included in these two volumes (in full Chaucer wrote 24) in order:

Vol. 1
-The Prologue
-The Knightes Tale
-The Man of Lawes Tale
-The Prioresses Tale
-The Clerkes Tale

Vol 2.
-Chaucers Tale of Sir Topas
-The Monkes Tale
-The Nonne Prestes Tale
-The Pardoners Tale
-The Squires Tale
-The Frankeleyns Tale
-The Seconde Nonnes Tale
-The Chanons Yomans Tale
-The Persones Tale

There are also some pretty powerful, awesome and insightful quotes that come from The Canterbury Tales that I'll list below, and even some you may know as they have lasted and been passed down through the general lexicon all the way until today, such as "All that glisters is not gold" which has since become the popular "All that glitters is not gold" - recognize it? There are more instances of this inside this meaningful string of stories than you'd think.

Here are some popular lines, some of my favorites sprinkled in (none so close as the one I began this with though haha), but I could list so many I'll have to stop at some point :) Keep in mind that though some of these quotes are written in translation so you can understand them without need of a glossary (some I kept the same) the original wording and spelling is much better and that is another reason you should buy this copy. Don't take my word for it though, take Chaucer's, as quoted in The Canterbury Tales:

"Who so shall telle a tale after a man,
He moste reherse, as neighe as ever he can,
Everich word, if it be in his charge,
All speke he never so rudely and so large;
Or elles he moste tellen his tale untrewe,
Or feinen thinges, or finden wordes newe."

:)

And so:

-"People can die of mere imagination."

-"Love is a thing as any spirit free."

-"Who shall give a lover any law?’ Love is a greater law, by my troth, than any law written by mortal man."

-"Death is the end of every worldly pain."

-"A love grown old is not the love once new."

-"For if you love yourself you love your wife,
For no one hates his flesh, nay all his life
He fosters it, and so I bid you wive
And cherish her, or you will never thrive." (lol i love this one - i bid you wive!)

-"And so it is in politics, dear brother,
Each for himself alone, there is no other."

I'll stop here by force. And here are the straight details you may be looking for:

-Full title: The Canterbury Tales
-Author: Geoffrey Chaucer
-Editor/Intro Author: Alfred W Pollard
-Format: Two volumes (comprising 14 tales), uncut pages, hardcover with red titles on front and side, second volume marked with two stars below title, sign of tree with "Arbor Scientiae, Arbor Vitae" on it on the right hand bottom corner of both volumes in black ink
-Condition: I don't know how to describe the condition (aside from what I said above in the description) because they look well their age, smudged and such on the outside, they are absolutely gorgeous timepieces and the uncut pages are just stunning, the binding on both tight and the books highly readable and collectible. That's the only way I can think to put it?
-Publisher: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co : London
-Copyright: Unstated
-Date published: Volume 1 published in 1885, volume 2 followed in 1886
-Provenance: These I got at a rare book show, the first I'd ever been to, to which I was invited by a nice person who found me and my shop online and thought I should go, not to bring and show and sell my own books but to experience that part of rare/vintage bookselling culture. I'm so glad I went, and the most money I spent there was on these two, though I would have bought so much more if I could! This was this past Spring in 2017 and the show was in New York City.
-Price: Pricing this was extremely hard, that's all I'll say. It took a lot of research and eventually I came to this price based on so many factors I won't list them here. It is one of the hardest "pricing" situations I've ever dealt with actually! These are rare, special books that sort of stand alone in the world in a way, and that is always something difficult to grapple with when appraising worth.
There is no other book like this one.

I wrote out a description for this which I think you should read, absolutely, but I have to start here saying this book written in the freaking middle ages has my favorite, favorite, favorite, FAVORITE insult of ALL TIME in it. Can you believe that? Believe it. Chaucer was that good, and this book is THAT GOOD. You'll hear it and if you're anything like me, you won't be able to get it out of your mind. There is no better insult in the history of literature, I'll have you know. It is:

"I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity." - A Knightes Tale, The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer

CHILLS. So, so good. Sigh. I almost can't handle it. So good.

Okay now on to the description haha...

Geoffrey Chaucer was and is and always will be a genius of prose and imagination. He wrote The Canterbury Tales in the 1300s (the FOURTEENTH CENTURY!) and they are still being read today far and wide across the world by people of all ages.

I'd argue you should buy this copy above all others, for many reasons, but if you buy any copy you will be buying a treasure, that's for sure. This one is just more of a treasure than the rest ;) It is one of the few ever from the 19th century you can find to buy, it is absolutely unique and cannot be found elsewhere, it has uncut pages so you feel you are reading a manuscript bundled from a time long past, it has smudges on the covers that are worn and tell of the centuries that have happened since they were published, but the binding is tight and the pages are clean and unmarked inside which is almost a miracle I have to say. The endpapers look like they have been speckled with soot, and it all comes together into such a masterwork of book publishing that showcases the lasting qualities of the best, most special books through time and space.

The tales are basically a series of short stories that span (in this case) two volumes and thousands of verses and follow different characters, one per story, and the ins and outs of their lives, perspectives, dramas, tragedies, follies and in some cases successes. The tales are written in Middle English, so they are hard to read in their original language, but this authentic edition pulls it off by providing the text in its original wording and spelling (which just absolutely transports you and enchants you, trust me) and a helpful glossary at the back of both volumes to help guide you if you get stuck -- but you won't get stuck, I would put my money on it, because once you get into the flow of the language everything seems to fall into place and make sense. Suddenly "Ful many a riche contre had he wonne;" is obviously "Full many a rich country had he won" and words like "seyde" replace "said" so seamlessly it's pretty strange and wondrous.

Here are the titles of the 14 tales included in these two volumes (in full Chaucer wrote 24) in order:

Vol. 1
-The Prologue
-The Knightes Tale
-The Man of Lawes Tale
-The Prioresses Tale
-The Clerkes Tale

Vol 2.
-Chaucers Tale of Sir Topas
-The Monkes Tale
-The Nonne Prestes Tale
-The Pardoners Tale
-The Squires Tale
-The Frankeleyns Tale
-The Seconde Nonnes Tale
-The Chanons Yomans Tale
-The Persones Tale

There are also some pretty powerful, awesome and insightful quotes that come from The Canterbury Tales that I'll list below, and even some you may know as they have lasted and been passed down through the general lexicon all the way until today, such as "All that glisters is not gold" which has since become the popular "All that glitters is not gold" - recognize it? There are more instances of this inside this meaningful string of stories than you'd think.

Here are some popular lines, some of my favorites sprinkled in (none so close as the one I began this with though haha), but I could list so many I'll have to stop at some point :) Keep in mind that though some of these quotes are written in translation so you can understand them without need of a glossary (some I kept the same) the original wording and spelling is much better and that is another reason you should buy this copy. Don't take my word for it though, take Chaucer's, as quoted in The Canterbury Tales:

"Who so shall telle a tale after a man,
He moste reherse, as neighe as ever he can,
Everich word, if it be in his charge,
All speke he never so rudely and so large;
Or elles he moste tellen his tale untrewe,
Or feinen thinges, or finden wordes newe."

:)

And so:

-"People can die of mere imagination."

-"Love is a thing as any spirit free."

-"Who shall give a lover any law?’ Love is a greater law, by my troth, than any law written by mortal man."

-"Death is the end of every worldly pain."

-"A love grown old is not the love once new."

-"For if you love yourself you love your wife,
For no one hates his flesh, nay all his life
He fosters it, and so I bid you wive
And cherish her, or you will never thrive." (lol i love this one - i bid you wive!)

-"And so it is in politics, dear brother,
Each for himself alone, there is no other."

I'll stop here by force. And here are the straight details you may be looking for:

-Full title: The Canterbury Tales
-Author: Geoffrey Chaucer
-Editor/Intro Author: Alfred W Pollard
-Format: Two volumes (comprising 14 tales), uncut pages, hardcover with red titles on front and side, second volume marked with two stars below title, sign of tree with "Arbor Scientiae, Arbor Vitae" on it on the right hand bottom corner of both volumes in black ink
-Condition: I don't know how to describe the condition (aside from what I said above in the description) because they look well their age, smudged and such on the outside, they are absolutely gorgeous timepieces and the uncut pages are just stunning, the binding on both tight and the books highly readable and collectible. That's the only way I can think to put it?
-Publisher: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co : London
-Copyright: Unstated
-Date published: Volume 1 published in 1885, volume 2 followed in 1886
-Provenance: These I got at a rare book show, the first I'd ever been to, to which I was invited by a nice person who found me and my shop online and thought I should go, not to bring and show and sell my own books but to experience that part of rare/vintage bookselling culture. I'm so glad I went, and the most money I spent there was on these two, though I would have bought so much more if I could! This was this past Spring in 2017 and the show was in New York City.
-Price: Pricing this was extremely hard, that's all I'll say. It took a lot of research and eventually I came to this price based on so many factors I won't list them here. It is one of the hardest "pricing" situations I've ever dealt with actually! These are rare, special books that sort of stand alone in the world in a way, and that is always something difficult to grapple with when appraising worth.

Reviews

5 out of 5 stars
(62)

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Returns & exchanges

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But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

FAQs

Absolutely! I'm willing to do anything to get this book to you, but I will not write on it. If it is not in the condition you want, I know preservation techniques and will certainly oblige as best I can. You just need to let me know.
I will wrap the book any way you want. It is special and so are you, you deserve it! I will also write cards, include photographs, anything you'd like that would make this transaction more, well, you.
I won't tell you how to care for your book, but as to how they are cared for now, they are housed in two places -- some are wrapped in plastic in my main room in the part of the house that used to be a quaint B&B, lined on lovely old wooden bookshelves; others are stacked in piles or leaning on cool, creative and different bookends all round the room, and all are given care, attention, and kept away from my dog :)

Others sit in my library, in built-in authentic 1800s wooden and glass-door library shelves that line the walls in a secluded room in a historic home on the shore. With vintage, warm lamplights over the tiny marble fireplace, the library's windows catch plenty of sunlight--the books are in good homes and will arrive undamaged.
If the book comes later than expected this does not mean it was sent late. Every book is sent within 1-3 business days, unless one of the days is a Sunday, then it could be an extra day. This applies to International orders as well, but they might take longer to get to you than in-country orders. If there is a problem, please bring it up with UPS or see Etsy's policies.
I am more than willing to hunt down a specific book for you. This can take time, however, and would be a matter of personal back-and-forth on the site so you would have to keep in contact. There is no guarantee. I'm good at finding things however, and if I cannot find it to sell to you myself I will direct you to where I can find it online, if I can.

Important to note, however, that I may have it in my holdings already so it ALWAYS helps to check in with me. Listings come up continually, and it may just be waiting here to get processed and put up.
Contact me directly via the site and I will do my absolute best to help correct it. There should be no problems.
Always willing to make new friends and take on new jobs or opportunities -- this business does not stop me from working a full or part time job, and I am currently looking, so please contact me! Dempseylynch@gmail.com. I am definitely interested in talking with you and love meeting new people (especially book lovers of course).
Sure! Although the books are priced the way they are and are worth that amount based on a lot of factors (condition compared to others available online, if there are any available online or if it is the only one, age and whether it is signed or special in some way, etc.) I am always willing to hear you out as to why you think the books price is off, and work with you as best I can. I cannot guarantee the price will change, that is bad for my business, but I will listen to you. Don't be afraid to reach out. The worst that can happen is I will say no.

I put the reasons behind my pricing method for each item at the end of the listing so check that out if you're curious too :)

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