London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1902. Item #04423
"Not Just a Book - But a Monument"
Palgrave's Golden Treasury - First & Second Series
Superbly Bound by Zaehnsdorf
ZAEHNSDORF, binder. PALGRAVE, Francis T. The Golden Treasury. Selected from the best songs and lyrical poems in the English language and arranged with notes… revised and enlarged. [First and Second Series]. London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1902 & 1900
Golden Treasury Series. Two small octavo volumes (6 x 3 7/8 inches; 152 x 98 mm.). [xii], 381, [1, imprint]; xii, 275, [1. blank] pp. title-page to first series with engraved vignette, title-page to second series with tinted engraved vignette. Small neat tape repair to front blank leaf in volume one.
Finely bound by Zaehnsdorf ca. 1902 (stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-ins). Full brown levant morocco, covers bordered in gilt and blind with gilt floral corner-pieces, enclosing a panel of eleven gilt flowers and stems with gilt pointillé and decorative blind stamping. Spines with five raised bands, decoratively tooled an gilt and blind and lettered in gilt in compartments, double gilt-ruled board edges, gilt ruled and decorated turn-ins, marbled end-papers, all edges gilt.
A beautiful set with the rather uncommon Second Series which was first published in 1897.
This is "not just a book but a monument. The Golden Treasury of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language, edited by Francis Turner Palgrave, first appeared in 1861, and it quickly came to define Victorian taste in poetry. Palgrave sifted 300 years of English verse, from the Elizabethans to the Romantics, for poems that embodied his timeless ideal of lyric poetry: 'neither modern nor ancient, but true in all ages, and like the works of Creation, perfect as on the first day.'
"Palgrave's Golden Treasury, as it came to be known, was as influential as any anthology ever published. It not only decided which poems the literate Briton should know; it embodied a whole conception of poetry that is still a large part of what we mean by 'poetic.' Palgrave poetry is sincere, direct, and beautiful; it approximates song rather than speech; it deals with the most sweeping subjects—in particular, love, death, and nature—rather than the merely personal and local. Palgrave poetry is almost never urban, ironic, obscure, or verbally ambiguous" (Adam Kirsh, Palgrave's Revenge. Slate, Nov. 2, 2002).