1870 1stED Zaehnsdorf Binding - Legend of King Arthur - The Holy Grail by Alfred Tennyson.
Author: Lord Alfred Tennyson.
Title: The Holy Grail and other poems.
Publisher: London, Strahan and Co, Publishers, 1870. First Edition.
Language: Text in English.
Size: 7 " X 4.5 ".
Pages: 222 pages.
Binding: Attractive fine binding, finely bound by Zaehnsdorf in red morocco, titles in gilt on spine, upper edge gilt. Under a protective removable mylar cover.
Content: Very good, near fine content (bright, tight, and clean).
The book: Very beautiful and attractive edition of The Holy Grail by Tennyson in a beautiful Zaehnsdorf binding!
In this book, the Idyll is told in flashback by Sir Percivale, who had become a monk and died one summer before the account, to his fellow monk Ambrosius. His pious sister had beheld the Grail and named Galahad her "knight of heaven", declaring that he, too, would behold it. One summer night in Arthur's absence, Galahad sits in the Siege Perilous. The hall is shaken with thunder, and a vision of the covered Grail passes the knights. Percivale swears that he will quest for it a year and a day, a vow echoed by all the knights. When Arthur returns, he hears the news with horror. Galahad, he says, will see the Grail, and perhaps Percivale and Lancelot also, but the other knights are better suited to physical service than spiritual. The Round Table disperses. Percivale travels through a surreal, allegorical landscape until he meets Galahad in a hermitage. They continue together until Percivale can no longer follow, and he watches Galahad depart to a heavenly city in a boat like a silver star. Percival sees the grail, far away, not as close or real an image as Galahad saw, above Galahad's head. After the period of questing, only a remnant of the Round Table returns to Camelot. Some tell stories of their quests. Gawain decided to give up and spent pleasant times relaxing with women, until they were all blown over by a great wind, and he figured it was time to go home. Lancelot found a great, winding staircase, and climbed it until he found a room which was hot as fire and very surreal, and saw a veiled version of the grail wrapped in samite, a heavy silk popular in the Middle Ages, which is mentioned several times throughout the Idylls. "The Holy Grail" is symbolic of the Round Table being broken apart, a key reason for the doom of Camelot.
The binder: The famous bookbinding firm of Zaehnsdorf was founded in London in 1842 by Joseph Zaehnsdorf (1816-1886), an Austro-Hungarian craftsman-binder who learned his trade in Stuttgart and Vienna. While he was very successful, becoming ‘Bookbinder to the King of Hanover’ by 1861, it was under his son Joseph William Zaehnsdorf (1853-1930) that the firm was able to develop further and prosper. Joseph William did much to make known the principles of sound binding practice, and to increase the appreciation and knowledge of fine binding. He was the author of The art of bookbinding (1880) which became a standard textbook for apprentices, and he wrote a series of articles on amateur bookbinding in which he stated that the finishing or decorative side of bookbinding caused the most difficulty for the amateur. The firm was known for its high-quality workmanship and excelled in the retrospective binding popular in the 19th century. The firm’s most skilled craftsmen were reserved for the higher-quality work sometimes working from their own designs, and sometimes from designs produced by professional designers, both constructing their patterns from existing styles. This firm was at its height from the 1890s until the First World War, and it is during this period that Alexander Turnbull had many of his books bound.
The author: Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson FRS (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) was a British poet. He was the Poet Laureate during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets of all time.
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1870 1stED Zaehnsdorf Binding - Legend of King Arthur - The Holy Grail by Alfred Tennyson. Price List