1896 The Decameron of Giovanni Boccacci (Il Boccaccio) now Completely done into English Prose and Verse by John Payne
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First Edition, Limited Edition, Publishers' Original Binding, Scarce
The first edition of this work from Giovanni Boccaccio to be translated into English by poet John Payne, these three volumes are Subscription Copy No. 153 of 750 copies printed on Holland Paper.
These volumes are a scarce and unrecorded variant, stating 'Printed by Private Subscription and for Private Circulation Only' to the publication line, rather than being identified as printed 'for the Villon Society'. Payne founded the Villon Society in 1878, doing so to publish his first complete translation of French poet Francois Villon's works.
Giovanni Boccaccio's work consists of a frame narrative containing one hundred tales told by a group sheltering in a secluded villa to escape the Black Death. Boccaccio probably conceived of the Decameron after the plague epidemic of 1348, and completed it by 1353.
These volumes each feature illustrated plates French engraver and painter Leopold Flameng, including a frontispiece to each volume.
In the publisher's original quarter paper vellum binding, with cloth covered boards. Discolouration to back strip, with bumping to spine heads and tails. Areas of fading to the cloth of the boards. Front and rear hinge of volume I, and front hinge of volume II tender, with boards holding firm. Internally, firmly bound. Pages generally clean and bright, with spotting most prominent to volume II.
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