"There is no Book More Popular Among the Georgians than The Book of Wisdom and Lies"
[KELMSCOTT PRESS]. [ORBELIANI, Sulkhan-Saba]. The Book of Wisdom and Lies. [London: Sold by Bernard Quaritch, 1894].
Limited to 250 paper copies printed by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press. Octavo. xvi, 256 pp. Woodcut title within an elaborate woodcut border, first page of text within a similar border, numerous woodcut initials, woodcut printer's device. Printed in red and black in Golden type. Translated, with notes, by Oliver Wardrop.
Full limp vellum with green silk ties. Title in gilt on spine. A fine copy.
A collection of traditional Georgian stories. The arms of Georgia, the Holy Coat, appear in the woodcut title.
"In the early 18th century, Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani, supported by his pupil and nephew King Vakhtang VI, introduced modern schooling and printing to Georgia. Orbeliani also compiled the first extant Georgian dictionary and wrote a book of instructive fables, Tsigni sibrdzne-sitsruisa (c. 1700; The Book of Wisdom and Lies)." (Encyclopaedia Britannica).
"After Shota Rust'haveli's great epic poem "The Man in the Panther's Skin," - there is no book more popular among the Georgians than "The Book of Wisdom and Lies." The former is the most splendid monument of the reign of Queen T'hamara (1184-1212), the period when the Iberian race reached its highest degree of prosperity and refinement; the latter belongs to the eighteenth century, which ended in the destruction of Georgian independence, but saw the beginning of a revival of the national literature, which has progressed steadily up to the present timeÖ The date when "The Book of Wisdom & Lies" was finished is not known, but it seems to be subsequent to Orbeliani's travels, since we find in the stories references to Rome, France, Constantinople, and titles like duca, granduca, magistros." (Introduction)
Clark Library, Kelmscott and Doves, pp. 36-37. Peterson A28. Ransom, Private Presses, p. 328, no. 28. Sparling 28. Tomkinson, p. 114, no. 28.
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