- Orlando Furioso in English Heroical Verse, by John Harington. (London: Richard Field dwelling in the Black-friers by Ludgate, 1591)
Folio (12 1/8 x 7 5/8 in.; 306 x 194 mm). Engraved architectural title incorporating portraits of the author and of the translator by Thomas Cockson [Johnson, p. 7] , 46 full-page engraved text illustrations after the originals in Porro’s edition of 1584, woodcut head- and tail-pieces, decorative initials and frames for “The Argument” of each book, all illustrations and decorative elements with bright contemporary hand-color; moderate marginal soiling and spotting throughout. Seventeenth-century red morocco gilt-tooled in a Samuel Mearne-type panel design with foliate stamps at four corners and larger interlace foliate tools along the edges of the frame, spine richly gilt with title stamped in one compartment, edges gilt and gauffered; rebacked with original spine laid down, some stains and a few small scuffmarks, extremities worn.
Lady Arabella Seymour [Stuart] - Maximilian Waad (gift inscription on upper margin of title dated 161 recording the previous owner, slightly shaved) – Frank Brewer Bemis (bookplate) – Frances Hofer (bookplate) – Philip Hofer (pencil note on front flyleaf dated 4 February 1949) – acquisition: 1965
STC 746; ESTC S106637; Pforzheimer 447 (citing the present copy in the note)
First edition in English of the most popular Italian verse epic of the sixteenth century, Lady Arabella Seymour Stuart’s copy on large paper
. The illustrations follow a long tradition of Orlando
engravings, each with small labels for the characters and depicting multiple dramatic scenes. This work was used by Shakespeare, especially in Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear and Othello
Arabella Seymour Stuart (1575-1615), daughter of the Earl of Lennox, was a lady-in-waiting at Queen Elizabeth’s court and an unworldly intellectual who considered herself to be of royal blood seeking to confirm that with a fitting title through marriage. Lover of King James VI, she married the young William Seymour (1587-1660) against the King’s wishes, which put the unfortunate couple in the Tower of London. Her keeper in the Tower, Maximilian Waad, records her gift of the present volume.