CHRONICLES OF ENGLAND, FRANCE, SPAIN, AND THE ADJOINING COUNTRIES, From the Latter Part of the Reign of Edward II to the Coronation of Henry IV. Translated from the French editions, with variations and additions from many celebrated Mss. by Thomas Johnes, Esq. To which are prefixed, A Life of the Author, An Essay on His Works, and A Criticism of His History
(London: George Routledge and Sons, 1868).
THE MOST IMPORTANT 19TH CENTURY TRANSLATION OF THE GREAT RENAISSANCE HISTORY AND A COPY IN PREFERRED BINDING WITH A PROFUSION OF LITHOGRAPHED PLATES. "Froissart might be called the great interviewer of the Middle Ages. The newspaper correspondent of modern times has scarcely surpassed this medieval collector of intelligence. He traveled extensively in the various countries of Europe; he conversed with gentlemen of rank everywhere; and he had the remarkable knack of persuading those about him to divulge all he wanted to know. He learned the details of battles from both sides and from every point of view. He delighted in the minutest affairs of every cavalry skirmish, of the capture of every castle, and of every brave action and gallant deed. He lived from 1337 to about 1410, and wrote chiefly of contemporaneous events. The "Chronicles" are universally considered as the most vivid and faithful picture we have of events in the fourteenth century.... As a picture of the most favorable side of chivalry, the work has no equal" (Adams, Manual of Historical Literature, pp. 334-5).
Johnes's translation was the standard for most of the nineteenth century, preferred to Lord Berners’ of 1525 (the first English translation of the text) for its modernity in diction and style and extensive additions and corrections. With the exquisite illuminated illustrations in excellent order, this is a brilliant set of this landmark work.
The illuminated plates have retained their deep, bright colours and gilt highlights. Based on a medieval manuscript, they not only illustrate the chronicle but are a good example of the type of manuscript art being produced at the time.
The set includes a beautiful collection of hand-coloured chromolithographic plates reproduced from two of the greatest of known illuminated manuscripts of Froissart’s CRONYCLES OF ENGLANDE, FRAUNCE, SPAYNE, PORTYNGALE, SCOTLANDE, BRETAYNE, FLAU[N]DERS: AND OTHER PLACES ADIOYNYNGE. The first collection is from a manuscript of the First and Second book of Froissart in the British Museum. This manuscript came to the Museum from the Harleian Collection and appears to be the work of a Flemish artist, probably residing in Paris, and is believed to have been executed between 1460 and 1480. The second collection is primarily from a magnificent manuscript of all four books at the Bibliotheque du Roi in Paris. This great work was one of the books executed for Louis of Bruges and was probably completed by 1470.
Together these volumes give us extraordinarily well reproduced images from a time nearly contemporaneous to Froissart’s. Through these images the Middle Ages comes to life in costume and finery---people at their tournaments or displaying their skills at horsemanship and at arms, the mechanisms of warfare and the ships which were sailed. All produced as near to the originals in the manuscripts as the technology of the time allowed, with no attempt at alteration or correction in the hope of bringing the full spirit of the Gothic artists to a wider audience. Item #70029
2 volumes. Complete with a colour lithographed titlepage, two illuminated title-pages for the illustrations, 116 woodcut illustrations throughout the text, and over 70 magnificent illuminated coloured plates heightened with gold after originals from the manuscript editions of Froissart in the British Museum, the Bibliotheque Royale, and other sources. Thick Royal 8vo, three-quarter red crushed morocco over feathered marbled boards, with handsome gilt lettering and tooling on the spines between raised bands. Marbled endpapers, a.e.g.. xlvii, 768; xiv, 733 pp. A very handsome set, clean and crisp throughout, the plates and text-block in a fine state of preservation, the bindings strong and with only light rubbing at the extremities and only minor evidence of age or use. A pleasing and stately set.