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SPENSER, Edmund (1552?-1599). The Faerie Queene: The Shepheards Calendar: Together with the other Works of England's Arch-Poët. [London:] H.L. for Mathew Lownes, 1611-1609-1611.
SPENSER, Edmund (1552?-1599). The Faerie Queene: The Shepheards Calendar: Together with the other Works of England's Arch-Poët. [London:] H.L. for Mathew Lownes, 1611-1609-1611.

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SPENSER, Edmund (1552?-1599). The Faerie Queene: The Shepheards Calendar: Together with the other Works of England's Arch-Poët. [London:] H.L. for Mathew Lownes, 1611-1609-1611.

5 parts in one volume, 2o (283 x 181 mm). General title within woodcut border (McKerrow & Ferguson 212), woodcut illustrations and ornamental borders. (Leaf D2 with corner chipped, repaired tear crossing text on Aa6, 2C6 with tear near blank gutter margin, very minor soiling or browning.) Contemporary English calf, covers with triple fillet border in blind and blocked in gilt at center with lozenge-shaped arabesque, spine in seven compartments with six raised bands, gilt-lettered morocco label in one, a repeated gilt ornament in the rest (joints starting, some rubbing and wear).
Provenance: Sir Thomas Seabright (1692-1736), Tory from Hertfordshire and noted book collector (bookplate); Charles Feinberg; acquired from Arthur Freeman, 1968.

First collected edition of Spenser's works, FIRST PRINTING THROUGHOUT, and as an early copy without Prosopopoia or Mother Hubberds Tale. Lownes printed a folio edition of the Faerie Queene, adding for the first time to the earlier quarto printings, the celebrated "Mutability Cantos." In 1611, he used the left over sheets, with a new title-page and dedication, to create a collected edition of Spenser's works, adding such works as The Shepheards Calendar, Four Hymns, and Colin Clouts come home againe. These sheets eventually ran out and reprinted sections followed. Believed to have been edited by Gabriel Harvey, the book may be divided into seven sections, each of which was set up twice. These sections are often mixed between first and second printings. The very earliest copies issued (as here) have all the sections in the first setting. A FINE, FRESH AND UNSOPHISTICATED COPY IN WELL-PRESERVED PERIOD BINDING. See F.R. Johnson, Critical Bibliography of the Works of Edmund Spenser, pp. 33-48 (19 group I); Pforzheimer 972; STC 23083.3.

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