Item #4485 The Works of our ancient, learned, [and] excellent English poet, Jeffrey Chaucer: as they have lately been compar’d with the best manuscripts; and several things added, never before in print. To which is adjoyn’d, The story of the siege of Thebes, by John Lidgate, monk of Bury. Together with the life of Chaucer, shewing his countrey, parentage, education, marriage, children, revenues, service, reward, friends, books, death. Also a table, wherein the old and obscure words in Chaucer are explained, and such words (which are many) that either are, by nature or derivation, Arabick, Greek, Latine, Italian, French, Dutch, or Saxon, mark’d with particular notes for the better understanding their original. Geoffrey Chaucer, d. 1400.
The Works of our ancient, learned, [and] excellent English poet, Jeffrey Chaucer: as they have lately been compar’d with the best manuscripts; and several things added, never before in print. To which is adjoyn’d, The story of the siege of Thebes, by John Lidgate, monk of Bury. Together with the life of Chaucer, shewing his countrey, parentage, education, marriage, children, revenues, service, reward, friends, books, death. Also a table, wherein the old and obscure words in Chaucer are explained, and such words (which are many) that either are, by nature or derivation, Arabick, Greek, Latine, Italian, French, Dutch, or Saxon, mark’d with particular notes for the better understanding their original
The Works of our ancient, learned, [and] excellent English poet, Jeffrey Chaucer: as they have lately been compar’d with the best manuscripts; and several things added, never before in print. To which is adjoyn’d, The story of the siege of Thebes, by John Lidgate, monk of Bury. Together with the life of Chaucer, shewing his countrey, parentage, education, marriage, children, revenues, service, reward, friends, books, death. Also a table, wherein the old and obscure words in Chaucer are explained, and such words (which are many) that either are, by nature or derivation, Arabick, Greek, Latine, Italian, French, Dutch, or Saxon, mark’d with particular notes for the better understanding their original
The Works of our ancient, learned, [and] excellent English poet, Jeffrey Chaucer: as they have lately been compar’d with the best manuscripts; and several things added, never before in print. To which is adjoyn’d, The story of the siege of Thebes, by John Lidgate, monk of Bury. Together with the life of Chaucer, shewing his countrey, parentage, education, marriage, children, revenues, service, reward, friends, books, death. Also a table, wherein the old and obscure words in Chaucer are explained, and such words (which are many) that either are, by nature or derivation, Arabick, Greek, Latine, Italian, French, Dutch, or Saxon, mark’d with particular notes for the better understanding their original
The Works of our ancient, learned, [and] excellent English poet, Jeffrey Chaucer: as they have lately been compar’d with the best manuscripts; and several things added, never before in print. To which is adjoyn’d, The story of the siege of Thebes, by John Lidgate, monk of Bury. Together with the life of Chaucer, shewing his countrey, parentage, education, marriage, children, revenues, service, reward, friends, books, death. Also a table, wherein the old and obscure words in Chaucer are explained, and such words (which are many) that either are, by nature or derivation, Arabick, Greek, Latine, Italian, French, Dutch, or Saxon, mark’d with particular notes for the better understanding their original
The Works of our ancient, learned, [and] excellent English poet, Jeffrey Chaucer: as they have lately been compar’d with the best manuscripts; and several things added, never before in print. To which is adjoyn’d, The story of the siege of Thebes, by John Lidgate, monk of Bury. Together with the life of Chaucer, shewing his countrey, parentage, education, marriage, children, revenues, service, reward, friends, books, death. Also a table, wherein the old and obscure words in Chaucer are explained, and such words (which are many) that either are, by nature or derivation, Arabick, Greek, Latine, Italian, French, Dutch, or Saxon, mark’d with particular notes for the better understanding their original
The Works of our ancient, learned, [and] excellent English poet, Jeffrey Chaucer: as they have lately been compar’d with the best manuscripts; and several things added, never before in print. To which is adjoyn’d, The story of the siege of Thebes, by John Lidgate, monk of Bury. Together with the life of Chaucer, shewing his countrey, parentage, education, marriage, children, revenues, service, reward, friends, books, death. Also a table, wherein the old and obscure words in Chaucer are explained, and such words (which are many) that either are, by nature or derivation, Arabick, Greek, Latine, Italian, French, Dutch, or Saxon, mark’d with particular notes for the better understanding their original

The Works of our ancient, learned, [and] excellent English poet, Jeffrey Chaucer: as they have lately been compar’d with the best manuscripts; and several things added, never before in print. To which is adjoyn’d, The story of the siege of Thebes, by John Lidgate, monk of Bury. Together with the life of Chaucer, shewing his countrey, parentage, education, marriage, children, revenues, service, reward, friends, books, death. Also a table, wherein the old and obscure words in Chaucer are explained, and such words (which are many) that either are, by nature or derivation, Arabick, Greek, Latine, Italian, French, Dutch, or Saxon, mark’d with particular notes for the better understanding their original

London: [s.n.], 1687.

Price: $9,500.00

Folio: 32.3 x 20.3 cm. [36], 660, [24] pp. Collation: pi2, A4, a-c4, B-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Zzz4, Aaaa-Rrrr4, Ssss2

FINAL BLACK LETTER EDITION.

Bound in 18th c. sprinkled calf (very nicely rebacked, discreet repairs to the corners), the boards ruled in compartments, with ornaments at the corners. A nice copy, complete with the engraved full-length portrait of Chaucer and his “Progenie”. Light foxing, light toning to scattered leaves. Small spot on lvs. Aa1, Qqq4, Xxx4; naturally occurring flaw (i.e. an artefact of the paper-making process) on leaf Tt4 resulting in minor loss of text. Leaf c1 has the magnificent ¾ page woodcut of Chaucer’s arms. This edition follows those of Speght (1598 and 1602), for whom see below. It includes for the first time the newly discovered conclusions to the Cook’s and Squire’s Tales (Leaf Ssss2 verso.) 17th c. gift inscription on blank recto of half-title: “Dedit Henricus Stuart Stevens.”.

The contents are: “The Canterbury Tales”, together with the “Prologues”; “The Romaunt of the Rose”; “Troilus and Criseyde”; “The Legend of Good Women”; Chaucer’s translation of Boethius’ “Consolation of Philosophy”; “The Dreame of Chaucer”; “The Assemblie of Foules”; The Flower of Courtesie”; “How Pitie is Dead”; “La Belle Dame sans Mercie”; “Annelida and false Arcite”; “The Assembly of Ladies”; The Conclusion of the Astrolaby”; “The Complaint of the Black Knight”; “A Prayse of Women”; The House of Fame”; “The Testament of Love”; “Jake Upland”; John Lydgate’s “Siege of Thebes” and a number of other minor works.

Thomas Speght:

“The schoolmaster and literary editor Thomas Speght became interested in Chaucer at Cambridge, an enthusiasm he shared with Francis Beaumont, who later contributed a prefatory letter to Speght's Chaucer edition. It is possible that they formed part of a circle of Chaucerians at Peterhouse and it is perhaps significant that they overlapped with the Cambridge years of another noted Chaucerian, Edmund Spenser (1569–76). After Cambridge, Speght appears to have maintained a private interest in Chaucer. In October 1592 a reprint of Chaucer's works was entered in the Stationers' register and by the time this work appeared under the title The Workes of our Antient and Lerned English Poet, Geffrey Chaucer, Newly Printed early in 1598, Speght was the editor.

“In preparing the edition Speght certainly had the help of the antiquary John Stow and the 1598 edition of Chaucer is in some ways not much more than a revision of Stow's own edition of 1561. Although Speght lists works of Chaucer's which he claims were 'never before imprinted' (Speght, Workes, sig. Aiiiv) most of them in fact appeared in Stow's edition, suggesting the extent to which he saw his task as simply presenting anew what Stow had done.

“Nevertheless, Speght's notes and introductory material are far more elaborate than in any previous edition and he was the first to provide a substantial glossary. While this suggests that Chaucer's language was becoming difficult to read, it is also part of the process whereby the Chaucerian text was dignified by the kind of extensive apparatus a classical author might receive.
Speght also contributed new annotations to the text of Chaucer, of which the most famous is his comment on a reference to the legendary hero Wade. Speght wrote, 'because the matter is long and fabulous, I passe it over' (Speght, Workes, sig. Bbbb.iiiiv), an unfortunate omission as all knowledge of stories of Wade has subsequently been lost.

“Also among the introductory material was an extensive biography, which informed all subsequent accounts of the poet's life until the 1840s. Several common beliefs about Chaucer were established here, some of them on the basis of texts attributed to the poet, but spurious. Hence, Chaucer was thought (as supposed author of Thomas Usk's The Testament of Love) to have spent time in exile in the 1380s and was claimed as a fellow Cantabrian on the basis of The Court of Love. Speght played up Chaucer's links with John of Gaunt and enhanced the image of the poet as a man who 'alwaies held in with the Princes, in whose daies he lived' (Speght, Workes, sig. Bviv). He was also the source of the biographical detail that Chaucer was once fined 2s. for beating a Franciscan friar in Fleet Street. The document supposedly recording this was found in the Inner Temple, leading Speght to suggest that the poet studied law there.
While the beating of the friar has never been disproved, it is suspiciously convenient evidence of an early and vigorous tendency to anti-clericalism on the poet's part, which, making him appear at odds with the Church of Rome, helped to refashion a Chaucer acceptable to Reformation England.

“Criticisms of the 1598 edition were forthcoming from Francis Thynne, son of the earlier Chaucer editor William Thynne, in his Animadversions uppon the Annotacions and Corrections … of Chaucers Workes. Speght took heed of the criticisms, though they were not always accurate, and in a new edition of Chaucer appearing in 1602 he departed more decisively from Stow. In this work the Chaucerian œuvre was augmented by the ABC, in print for the first time, and the anti-clerical (but non-Chaucerian) Jack Upland, which further bolstered the poet's reputation as a Wycliffite.

“In 1687 a reprint of this work with a few alterations appeared, and remained in use even after the publication of John Urry's much reviled Chaucer edition of 1721. Thomas Tyrwhitt, editing the Canterbury Tales in the 1770s, used the 1602 and 1687 editions of Speght, taking the latter as his base text. With a period of influence stretching from the late sixteenth century to the late eighteenth, then, Speght's Chaucer has been the most durable of any Chaucer edition.(Matthews, Oxford DNB).

Pforzheimer, 179; Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), C3736

See all items in England, Middle Ages, Poetry
Browse by Keywords Medieval, English