FABLES OF JOHN DRYDEN [Bound with] LEONORA Translated from the German of Gottfried Augustus Bürger by W. R. Spencer
FABLES OF JOHN DRYDEN [Bound with] LEONORA Translated from the German of Gottfried Augustus Bürger by W. R. Spencer
FABLES OF JOHN DRYDEN [Bound with] LEONORA Translated from the German of Gottfried Augustus Bürger by W. R. Spencer

FABLES OF JOHN DRYDEN [Bound with] LEONORA Translated from the German of Gottfried Augustus Bürger by W. R. Spencer

(London: By T. Bensley for J. Edwards and E. Harding, 1797, 1796).

A BEAUTIFUL EDITION OF THESE GREAT WORKS, ILLUSTRATED WITH FINE ENGRAVINGS BY LADY DIANA BEAUCLERC AND IN AN EXCEPTIONALLY HANDSOME BINDING WITH THE PROVENANCE OF THE GRANDEST MANOR HOUSE IN SHROPSHIRE.
The "Fables" are Dryden's rather free but very popular translations of portions of Chaucer, Boccaccio, the first book of the ILIAD, and parts of Ovid's METAMORPHOSES, as well as some original poems. The Preface, reprinted in this edition from the original can be considered some of Dryden’s most lively and unconstrained prose work. "I have endeavored to chose such fables, both ancient and modern, as contain in each of them some instructive moral, which I could prove by induction..."
Bürger’s Poem LENORE is generally characterized as a Gothic ballad, and although the character that returns from its grave in the poem is not considered to be a vampire, the poem has been very influential on two centuries of vampire literature. William Taylor, who published the first English translation of the ballad in 1790 for Monthly Magazine, would later claim that "no German poem has been so repeatedly translated into English as Ellenore". Percy Bysshe Shelley treasured a copy of the poem which he had handwritten himself. Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Christabel was influenced by Bürger's Lenore. Influences of Bürger's poem on Keats and Wordsworth have also been noted and Lenore is also particularly famous for being cited by Bram Stoker in the early chapters of his novel Dracula.
‘A Royal manor in Anglo Saxon times, until the 16th century Condover Manor was in and out of Crown Tenure until, in 1586, Elizabeth I made a grant of the current Manor to Thomas Owen, a Member of Parliament and Recorder of Shrewsbury.
Built out of pink sandstone, quarried at nearby Berriewood, Condover Hall has the typical Elizabethan two storey high ground floor rooms lit by tall windows with their regular mullions and double transoms. There are fine chimneys, gables and a good example of a strapwork frieze. The grounds are laid out in formal 17th century style with boxed yew hedges and sandstone balustraded terraces decorated with Italianate terracotta vases.
Owned by the Owen family until the late 1860s the house then passed to the Cholmondeley family and Mary Cholmondeley (1859–1925) lived in the hall for a few months in 1896 before moving to London. Her uncle, Reginald Cholmondeley had owned the house when he was host to the American writer Mark Twain (1835–1910) when he visited in 1873 and 1879. Item #24476

First edition thus of each title and a very early edition of LEONORA (Lenore), with fine provenance being from Condover Hall, the grandest manor house in Shropshire, and with at least two generations of lineage at Condover. First, with the manuscript ownership notation of Owen Smyth Owen, whose family owned the hall beginning with its construction circa 1598 and later with the fine engraved bookplate of Reginald Chomondeley, who owned Condover Hall when he was host to American writer Mark Twain in 1873. Both works ornamented with very fine engravings from the pencil of the Right Hon. Lady Diana Beauclerc, being nine plates engraved by Vandenburg, Bartolozzi, Chessman and others and with 15 engraved head and tail vignettes engraved by Bartolozzi and others within the FABLES, and 5 plates engraved by Bartolozzi and others and 4 very fine engraved vignette head pieces within LEONORA. The text of Lenore/Leonora given in both German and English, English on one page, German on the facing page. Folio, in a superb contemporary full Regency binding of red crushed morocco, both boards with a wide and elaborate gilt tooled frame in a chain-like pattern with inner frame of a rolled thistle device, the board edges gilt rolled and the turn-ins gilt tooled in Greek key. The spine elegantly decorated with six wide compartments between gilt stippled raised bands, each compartment beautifully gilt tooled around a large central gilt device, three compartments with large morocco gilt lettered and tooled labels in contrasting blue and green, one smaller gilt lettered label at the foot, marbled endpapers, a.e.g. xviii, 241; [v], 35 pp. The finest copy we have ever seen. A beautiful copy, the superb Regency binding fully original, unrestored and unsophisticated, the paper very fresh and clean, extremely minor and occasional scattered foxing only, much less then is typically seen on this title, in all very handsome and fine with excellent provenance.

Price: $7,500.00