THE POETS AND POETRY OF EUROPE. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


With Introductions and Biographical Notices. Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1845. Original full dark brown morocco elaborately decorated in gilt, all page edges gilt.

First Edition, first printing (with the imprint of Metcalf and Company on the copyright page, rather than that of T.K. & P.G. Collins). This is Longfellow's massive (779-page) anthology of centuries of European verse. The Preface and the many editorial notes are by Longfellow; he notes in his Preface that the biographical sketches were largely prepared by C.C. Felton.

This volume is in particular a showcase of Longfellow the linguist: the poems are arranged chronologically within language of origin, and the Table of Contents identifies each poem's translator. There are many original translations into English by Longfellow himself -- from the Anglo-Saxon, from the Danish, from the Swedish, from the German, from the French, from the Italian, from the Spanish, and from the Portuguese; 35 of these, identified by Blanck, appear here in English for the first time. (In his Preface Longfellow apologizes for omitting verse from the Celtic, the Sclavonic, the Turkish and the Romaic, indicating that "with these I am not acquainted.")

This book was bound in either of two bindings (no priority, but undoubtedly at different prices) -- in cloth or, as here, in deluxe full-morocco elaborately decorated in gilt. This copy is in remarkably near-fine condition (some gilt lettering -- the original owner's name? -- has been erased from the bottom of each cover); there is only the slightest of wear at the extremities, and a vertical crease on the spine. The cover and page-edge gilt are still unusually bright after more than 170 years. Blanck 12078. Item #14079

Price: $895.00

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