Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio ~ 1998, Folio Society ~ Two Volumes, Slipcase, Illustrated, Decorative Cloth, Fine/Poor - image 1 of 16

The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio

Two Volumes in a Slipcase

Volume One Being ~ The First Five Days
Volume Two Being ~ The Last Five Days

Translated by Richard Aldington

The translation is used by kind permission of the executors of Richard Aldington

With Aquatint Illustrations by Buckland Wright

1998 (1955), Third Printing (with a new binding), The Folio Society

Printed in Great Britain

Printed on Balmoral Wove paper
by St. Edmundsbury Press, Bury St Edmunds
Bound at Hunter & Foulis, Edinburgh in full buckram
Blocked with a design by David Eccles

718 total pages, introduction, foreword, frontispieces, Aquatints, conclusion

A Scarce Set in the U.S.

The Books are in Near Fine to Fine condition. The slipcase is Poor. The sleeve (slipcase) was busted on arrival. I have put it back together as best I could, handle with care.

From the Introduction:

To the great majority of readers of English, Giovanni Boccaccio is simply the author of "The Decameron," and this world-famous collection of stories is indeed the work on which his reputation chiefly depends. In the history of European literature, however, he has a greater significance. He is one of the three authors - the others being Dante and Petrarch - who mark the transition from medieval to modern, the renewal and development of the classical tradition which made the humanism of the Renaissance. He wrote the first psychological novel of Europe, "La Fiametta"; the influence of "Il Decamerone" in European literature was far-reaching and profound; and his poems and tales contributed much to the formation of a modern Italian language and literary style.

His book (The Decameron) was probably written between 1348 and 1353 (the oldest known manuscript of it was made in 1368), and Boccaccio was therefore about 40 when he finished it. He brought to it his whole experience of life, shot through for so many years by his desire for 'Fiametta', his shrewd but tolerant insight into the hearts and minds of men and women of all kinds, and a literary skill which had been developed by a lifetime of devoted practice. His hundred tales were gathered from many sources, French, Italian and Oriental. All of them were transmuted by his realism and elegance of style, so that they were accepted at once as models of their kind. The manuscript was copied so often that in a few years it was known all over western Europe, to be translated and imitated again and again. It was printed for the first time, apparently in Florence, in 1469 or 1470. Since then innumerable writers have used its stories or acknowledged its influence - among them Lope de Vega in Spain, Moliere in France and Lessing in Germany. The first complete English Translation did not appear until 1620, but long before that Chaucer had taken form Boccaccio the idea of a linked series of stories, and the realistic, humorous treatment of them, to make his "Canterbury Tales," five of which are directly borrowed from "The Decameron": the tales told by the Franklin, the Reeve, the Merchant, the Shipman and the Clerk. Shakespeare followed suit in "All Well that Ends Well" and "Cymbeline," and after him came Fletcher, Marston, Tourneur, Otway, Dryden, Pope, Keats, Tennyson, Swinburne and many more. "The Decameron" is indeed very much alive still, as this vigorous translation by Richard Aldington shows so successfully. It still sets before us, 'in their habit as they lived', all sorts and conditions of men and women, and provides an immortal record of the human comedy as it was played in Italy six hundred ago.



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Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio ~ 1998, Folio Society ~ Two Volumes, Slipcase, Illustrated, Decorative Cloth, Fine/Poor



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