Idylls of the King; by Alfred Tennyson, D.C.L., Poet Laureate

Identical to Another Binding in The British Library

TENNYSON, Alfred Lord. WOOD, A.P., binder. Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson, D.C.L., Poet Laureate. London: Edward Moxon & Co., 1859. First edition, later issue. Small octavo (6 3/8 x 4 inches: 162 x 102 mm.). [viii], 261, [3, blank] pp.

Bound by A.P. Wood of Barnstaple (with his ticket on rear paste-down) in contemporary brown hard-grained morocco, covers decoratively bordered in gilt surrounding a central lyre. Spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt, gilt board edges and turn-ins, yellow coated endpapers, all edges gilt. Very fine.

This is a later issue of the first edition, with the printers' names on the verso of the title. There is no half-title or advertisements. There is a newspaper cutting about the poem pasted to the blank leaf following the title.

The binders ticket names A.P. Wood, designating him as a bookseller in Barnstaple. We are aware of a copy of Tennyson's The Princess (1865) in an identical binding, with A.P. Wood's ticket as a bookbinder, which resides in the British Library. Spawn and Kinsella (Ticketed Bookbindings from Nineteenth-Century Britain cite an 1851 binders ticket "Wood, / Bookbinder, Etc. / Wiveliscombe. Barnstaple is just over 30 miles from Wiveliscombe and it is most likely that this is the same Wood who possibly moved to Barnstaple in the 1850's.

Idylls of The King contains Enid; Vivien; Elaine and Guinevere.

Alfred Tennyson, (1809-1892) was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains today one of the most popular British poets. Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as Break, Break, Break, The Charge of the Light Brigade, Tears, Idle Tears and Crossing the Bar. Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, such as Ulysses, although In Memoriam A.H.H. was written to commemorate his best friend Arthur Hallam, a fellow poet and fellow student at Trinity College, Cambridge, who was engaged to Tennyson's sister, but died from a brain hemorrhage before they could marry. Tennyson also wrote some notable blank verse including Idylls of the King and Tithonus. Item #03247

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