DECAMERON. Translated by John Payne

DECAMERON. Translated by John Payne

(London: Lawrence and Bullen, 1893).

VERY SCARCE, BEING LIMITED TO ONLY 174 COPIES PRINTED. One of the finest and most attractive modern printings and translations of this masterpiece of world literature.
Boccaccio is considered along with Dante and Petrarch as part of the great triumvirate of Italian writers. All contemporaries, they established perhaps the first true post classical literary style in Italy, and thus in Western Civilization. The DECAMERON is Boccaccio’s most influential work and has inspired generations of writers all around the world. Perhaps most importantly to English literature the DECAMERON is believed to be the biggest influence on Chaucer (though perhaps through an anonymous translation) for the structure of his CANTERBURY TALES.
The work is a gathering of tales from several sources created by Boccaccio and written over several years, but finally collected under one title between 1349 and 1351. The story is of seven women and three men who have left Florence for ten days in order to avoid the plague. They depart for neighboring villas and over the course of the next ten days each person tells a tale to entertain the others. The hundred tales are considered one of the greatest works in Italian literature and have influenced successive generations of writers for centuries. Item #30771

2 volumes. Limited edition of 174 numbered copies, printed on thick japon paper. Illustrated with 22 plates from paintings by Louis Chalon reproduced in photogravure, most quite evocative and many quite erotic, all executed in superb fashion and with great skill. 4to, publisher’s original polished tan cloth lettered on the spines in gilt, the upper covers featuring a small gilt pictorial device, pages untrimmed and with a red silk bookmark bound into each volume. xxiii, 325; vii, 383. An essentially pristine copy but for some very minor and expected age mellowing to the light tan cloth. A beautiful set, in excellent condition. The text blocks and plates are essentially pristine.

Price: $695.00