SPENSER, Edmund (ca 1552-1599). The Faerie Qveene. Disposed into twelue books, fashioning XII. Morall Vertues [contains Books I-3]. London: [John Wolf] for William Ponsonbie, 1590. - The Second Part of the Faerie Qveene, containing the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Bookes. London: [Richard Field] for William Ponsonby, 1596.
2 parts in 2 volumes, 4o in eights (188 x 136 mm). Roman letter. Woodcut device on each title (McKerrow 243 and 222), woodcut of St. George and the dragon on verso of M5 in part one. Woodcut headpiece and opening initial at the start of each book, typographical frame around legend at the head of each canto. (Titles lightly soiled, light and infrequent browning and soiling of text, some upper margins in first vol. cut close with headlines and pagination occasionally shaved, Oo1 in vol. I with slight repair along lower margin affecting catchword.) Nineteenth-century green morocco gilt, edges gilt, by Bedford; quarter morocco folding case. Provenance: 6-lines of verse in an early English hand on lower margin of Pp5v in first volume; Thomas Brooke, Armitage Bridge (bookplate)
FIRST EDITION OF BOTH PARTS. Except for two cantos of "Mutabilities" which were first published in the 1609 folio edition, these two volumes contain the full published text of the Faerie Queen. Part one has the following issue points: the imprint has the first digit of the date under "r" in "for," and the dedication to Queen Elizabeth is printed on the title verso, page 309 is incorrectly numbered 319, the Welsh (and English) words in lines 4 and 5 of p. 332 (Book II, Canto 10, stanza 24, of modern editions) are not printed, spaces being left for them to be filled in by hand (see Pforzheimer copy), pages 486-87 are numbered correctly. Most importantly, quire Qq4 cancels Pp6-7 as intended. Jackson notes that the cancels contain a sonnet to Lord Burghley and six other new sonnets as well as the eight sonnets of the cancellanda. "The confusion which has arisen in regard to these final leaves is due to the fact that the intended cancellation and substitution were only made in a very few cases."
Ashley V, 191 and 192; Bartlett 241; Grolier Langland to Wither 231 and 233; Hayward 22; Johnson Spenser 9 and 11; Pforzheimer 969 and 970; STC 23081 and 23082. (2)