London: , 1919. Item #05270
"Ride You Naked Through the Town, And I Repeal it"
“Then She Rode Back Clothed on with Chastity”
[SANGORSKI, Alberto, calligrapher]. [COSWAY-STYLE BINDING]. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.
The Lady Godiva and Other Poems. [Sonnet - O Beauty, passing beauty! sweetest Sweet!] & [The Sea-Fairies]. [London: 1919].
A Very Fine Alberto Sangorski Illuminated manuscript on vellum.
Large quarto (10 1/16 x 7 11/16 inches; 255 x 195 mm.). Eighteen vellum leaves, mounted on guards, including three blank leaves at front and one at back. [6, blank], 25, [1, blank], [1, colophon], [3, blank] pp. Interleaved with white silk. Written in black and red, with title in burnished gold, red, and purple. Two full-page miniatures of Lady Godiva (on pages 4 & 17). Three-half-page miniatures of Lady Godiva, and The Sea Fairies (on pages 7, 20 & 25) and two small miniatures of Tennyson, and Lady Godiva (on pages 1 & 12). Twenty-two pages with elaborate borders in gold and colors incorporating large illuminated initials, as well as dragons, grotesques, coats-of-arms, and foliage, that on the title incorporating a portrait of the author, those around text with three additional miniatures of Lady Godiva and two of sea fairies. Colophon statement: “This manuscript The Lady Godiva and other poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson was designed, written out and illuminated by Alberto Sangorski London. 1919. This manuscript was executed by me [signed:] Alberto Sangorski/[flourish].”
Bound by the Chelsea Bindery ca. 2000 in full red levant morocco. Covers with gilt decorative borders enclosing an elaborate all-over gilt design of buds, leaves and flowers. Front cover with four circular 2-inch diameter gilt-framed hand-painted miniatures and in the center one large rectangular 4 1/8 x 3 1/8 inches gilt-framed hand-painted miniature, all set under glass of scenes from the book (two of Lady Godiva unclothed, one of her clothed, and two others). Rear cover with same gilt border and one oval 3 x 2 1/2 inch gilt-framed hand-painted miniature under glass of Tennyson. Spine with five raised bands decoratively tooled in a similar pattern and lettered in gilt in compartments, gilt board edges and turn-ins, navy blue elaborately gilt-paneled morocco doublures, navy blue moire silk endpapers, all edges gilt. Housed in a quarter red morocco over red cloth boards, blue moire silk lined clamshell case, spine with five raised bands decoratively ruled and lettered in gilt in compartments.
1. The Lady Godiva pp. 1-18
2. Sonnet - O Beauty, passing beauty! sweetest Sweet! p. 19
3. The Sea-Fairies pp. 20-25.
1. Center front cover "Then she rode back clothed on with chastity." (page 17)
2. Top left front cover "He sought her Lord, and found him, where he strode…" (page 7)
3. Top right front cover "The Tower" (page 17)
4. Lower left front cover "The Lady Godiva…" (page 4)
5. Lower right front cover "That grim Earl who ruled in Coventry…" (page 7)
6. Center "Alfred Lord Tennyson" (title-page)
An exquisite marriage of a beautiful illuminated manuscript and an elaborate Cosway-style binding.
"The Lady Godiva" is a poem written in 1840 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson whilst waiting for his train when he was returning from Coventry to London, after his visit to Warwickshire in that year. It was first published in 1842, no alteration was made in any subsequent edition. The poem is based on the story of the Countess Godiva, an Anglo-Saxon lady who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry after her husband, the Earl of Mercia promised that he would remit oppressive taxes on his tenants if she agreed to do so.
O Beauty, passing beauty! sweetest Sweet! (Sonnet)
"The Sea-Fairies" was first published in 1830 but excluded from all editions till its restoration, when it was greatly altered, in 1853.