1874 Rare Victorian Book - PHANTASMION, a FAIRY TALE by Sara Coleridge. Bound by the Rose bindery. Signed by Lord Coleridge.
Author: Sara Coleridge.
Title: PHANTASMION, a Fairy Tale.
Publisher: London: Henry S. King, 1874. Second Edition.
Language: Text in English.
Size: 8 " X 5 ".
Pages: xvi-348 pages.
Binding: Very good and attractive full dark green leather binding bound by the Rose Bindery in Boston and signed by them on the lower part of the first endpaper (hinges fine, overall slightly worn and scuffed - as shown) under a protective removable mylar cover.
Content: Very good content (bright, tight and clean, rare foxing and staining, 1875 inscription from Lord Coleridge as a gift copy to his godson on the page facing the title page - as shown).
The book: Rare and nice second edition of the long fairy-tale Phantasmion, "one of the earliest novel-length fantasies separate from the Gothic tradition" (Sanders), and the first appearance of the work with the author's name printed on the title page: it was first published anonymously in 1837 in a run of just 250 copies. Phantasmion has been described not only as an important precursor to The Lord of the Rings, but also by science-fiction aficionados as an early and influential example of that genre. The work, modelled on Spenser's Faerie Queene, is a prose epic set in a fantastical Lake District, where Sara Coleridge, the only daughter Samuel Taylor Coleridge, had grown up in the household of her uncle Robert Southey. It is a strong candidate for the first modern fantasy novel, preceding George MacDonald's Phantastes (1858) by two decades.
This copy has been bound in leather by the Rose Bindery in Boston and has an inscription from Lord Coleridge as a gift copy to his godson adding a wonderful piece of history to this already fabulous item.
The author: Sara Coleridge (23 December 1802 – 3 May 1852) was an English author and translator. She was the third child, out of four, and the only daughter of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his wife Sara Fricker. In 1837, the Coleridges moved to Chester Place, Regent's Park; and in the same year appeared Phantasmion, a Fairy Tale, Sara Coleridge's longest original work, described by critic Mike Ashley as "the first fairytale novel written in English".
Historian of literature Dennis Butts describes Phantasmion as a "remarkable pioneering fantasy" and "an extraordinary monument to her talent". The songs in Phantasmion were much admired at the time by Leigh Hunt and other critics. Some of them, such as "Sylvan Stag" and "One Face Alone", are extremely graceful and musical, and the whole fairy tale is noticeable for the beauty of the story and the richness of its language. Some historians of the fantasy genre believe Phantasmion may have influenced the work of George MacDonald.
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1874 Rare Victorian Book - PHANTASMION, a FAIRY TALE by Sara Coleridge. Bound by the Rose bindery. Signed by Lord Coleridge. Price List