History of Western Science For Sale
History of Western Science
Gribbin, John
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Folio Society - The Pearl Manuscript - ( Item 123980 )

Published in London by Folio Society. 2015. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine solander box. Folio presents an exquisite facsimile of the Pearl Manuscript: the sole source for the poems 'Pearl', 'Cleanness', 'Patience' and 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' and one of the most important texts in medieval English literature. Limited to 980 copies of which this is number 539. The unassuming appearance of the Pearl Manuscript belies its incalculable importance to our knowledge of English literature. Modest in format, written in a small but distinctive hand and decorated with a series of charming if unaccomplished full-page illustrations, the manuscript displays none of the gaudy grandeur of the great illuminated books in the celebrated royal and ducal collections. Instead, it exudes a quiet authority more suited to private study and reflection. In this respect it is, perhaps, curiously appropriate that these pages represent the sole extant source of four poems two of them undisputed masterpieces of early English literature which bear witness to a remarkable flowering of literary creativity in the late fourteenth century. Facsimile volume. 6" 5". 184 pages. Printed on Arctic Volume Ivory. Bound in Indian Goatskin. Gold foil blocked on front and spine. Tinted page edges. Ribbon marker. . Commentary volume. 9" 6". 536 pages. Typeset in Minion Pro. Printed on Munken Wove. Bound in buckram. . Solander presentation box. 10" 8" 3". Solander with lift-out tray to hold facsimile. Bound in buckram. British Library MS Cotton Nero A.x survived near-destruction and long oblivion before undergoing a belated resurrection and rise to prominence. Like the equally famous manuscript of Beowulf, the Pearl Manuscript narrowly escaped the fire which in 1731 ravaged the library bequeathed to the nation by the antiquarian Robert Cotton (15711631) and resulted in the permanent loss of a huge quantity of medieval writing. Yet it remained largely unnoticed until 1839, when its most famous poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, was edited and published alongside a number of other Gawain romances, followed a quarter of a century later by Pearl, Cleanness and Patience which appeared as the first volume issued by the newly created Early English Text Society.

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