The Faerie Queene Edmund Spenser Folio Society Limited Edition 2011


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The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

The sixteenth century was the golden age of English poetry. Edmund Spenser burned to create an English equivalent to Virgil’s Aeneid. Instead of lauding the Caesars, he would glorify Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen. Where Virgil connected Rome to the heroic past of Troy, Spenser would forge a link between Tudor England and the mythological age of King Arthur. The result was The Faerie Queene, a rich allegory which elevated Protestant virtues through the medium of a romantic, chivalric epic. Today the power of Spenser’s story and the beauty of his verse still live in ‘famous memory’.

Walter Crane was already a well-established illustrator, artist and wood-engraver who had worked with William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and other luminaries of the day when he embarked on his most ambitious project – the illustration and decoration of the longest poem in the English language. It is the most important and impressive work in his large and varied oeuvre. It was also the most demanding, taking him three years to complete and requiring publication in stages. He produced 88 large illustrations and 135 illustrative head and tailpieces, as well as overseeing the production of these large, beautifully printed volumes. He was undoubtedly influenced by the Kelmscott Chaucer, but his distinctive style – inspired by Japanese art as much as by the pre-Raphaelites – gives a lighter, fresher feel.


  • Folio Society Limited Edition No. 18 of only 1000 copies
  • Publisher Folio Society, London; 2011
  • Bound in Wassa goatskin, blocked in gold, Gilded top edges, 1,712 pp
  • Wooden slipcase covered in Tsarina Crush, with a sliding tray in the base for ease of use
  • Superbly illustrated by Walter Crane, this is one of the most beautiful works of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
  • Size 280 x 220mm, 10kg

Condition: Near Fine – Very Light Edge Wear to Display Case, Books are Superb Unmarked Copies

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Additional information

Weight 10 kg


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