London: J.M. Dent & Sons, Ltd, 1910. Item #04541
Who will deign to hear the song
Solace of a captive's wrong,
Telling how two children met,
Aucassin and Nicolette
AUCASSIN & NICOLETTE. SANGORSKI & SUTCLIFFE, binders. MASON, Eugene, translator. Aucassin & Nicolette. Translated from the Old French by Eugene Mason. With coloured illustrations by Maxwell Armfield. [Some Tales of Old Romances Series] London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1910.
Small quarto (6 15/16 x 4 3/4 inches; 176 x 121 mm.). viii, 72 pp. Six fine color plates and several line drawings in the text.
Bound ca. 1910 by Sangorski & Sutcliffe (stamp-signed on verso of front endpaper). Full scored red calf, covers with double-gilt ruled borders surrounding a blind-stamped geometric design. Front cover lettered in gilt, spine with five raised bands decoratively tooled in gilt in compartments, olive green morocco lettering label, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. A fine copy.
Aucassin & Nicolette is an Old French story written in a mixture of prose and poetry. The name of the author is unknown, but he probably lived in Picardy during the early 13th century. It recounts the tale of Aucassin, son of Count Garin of Beaucaire, who so loved Nicolette, a Saracen maiden, who had been sold to the Viscount of Beaucaire, baptized and adopted by him, that he had forsaken knighthood and chivalry and even refused to defend his father's territories from enemies. Accordingly, his father ordered the Viscount to send Nicolette away, but instead the Viscount locked her in a tower of his palace. Aucassin is imprisoned by his father to prevent him from going after his beloved Nicolette. But Nicolette escapes, hears Aucassin lamenting in his cell, and comforts him with sweet words. She flees to the forest outside the gates, and there, in order to test Aucassin's fidelity, builds a rustic home to await his arrival…
Maxwell Ashby Armfield (1881-1972) was an English artist, illustrator and writer.