The Works of Edmund Spenser: Todd’s Edition

£800.00

The works of Edmund Spenser […] with the principal illustrations of several commentators. To which are added notes […] by the Rev Henry John Todd […] London: printed for F.C. and J. Rivington, T. Payne, Cadell and Davies, and R.H. Evans, 1805

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A Book At Its Best

A handsome example of the best and most beautiful – according to Brunet – edition of Spenser’s works.

The Reverend Henry Todd’s ‘Poetical Works of John Milton’ (1801) became the standard edition of Milton for some decades. Here Todd assembles critical material by John Hughes, Joseph Spence, Thomas Wharton and John Upton, contributing his own biography of Spenser as well as additional notes.

Writing in the Edinburgh Review (vol 13, 1806) Sir Walter Scott was less than complimentary. He described Todd’s style as of a ‘dry, sober and sleepy cast’ and was critical of his decision to reprint the notes of earlier commentators in full at the foot of each page, rather than extracting ‘their spirit and essence’ himself, especially where they contradict one another (‘five to one would be odds even against Culley or the Game Chicken’ and Spenser stood in danger of being overwhelmed), but Scott did allow that ‘the text is correctly and judiciously edited’. One can sympathise with Scott’s rejection of variorum editions, but in the present work Todd had compiled a comprehensive survey of Spenserian scholarship as it existed two hundred years after the poet’s death.

Condition & Materials

8 vols. 8vo. pp. [xiv], cxcii, 213; [ii], ccxx, 216; [ii], 472; [ii], 542; [ii], 480; [ii], 486; [ii], 564; [ii] 581 + engraved portrait frontispiece, engraved by Joseph Collyer. Contemporary full diced russia, gilt ruled with fully gilt spines, lettered direct, several joints skilfully renewed; bookseller’s ticket of Calignant, Paris

References

Brunet V, 487. OCLC: 2917268

Title

The Works of Edmund Spenser: Todd’s Edition

Author(s)

SPENSER, Edmund

Publisher

printed for FC and J Rivington, T Payne, Cadell & Davies, and RH Evans

Place of publication

London

Date of publication

1805

Binding

contemporary diced russia