Londin: [printed by Adam Islip for] George Bishop, 1598.
First Speght edition. Full page woodcut of the progeny of Chaucer incorporating a portrait of the author, full page woodcut arms of Chaucer, large woodcut of Knight at head of his tale, separate title for Canterbury Tales within elaborate woodcut borders, woodcut initials. , 394,  ff. Without first and final blank leaves and printed errata (provided in near contemporary manuscript at end). Printed in two columns. 1 vols. Folio (31.3 x 19.6 cm). First Speght edition. Near contemporary calf rebacked, lacking one clasp and cornerpiece, later ownership blindstamp at center of covers. Intermittent browning, minor edge chips to a few leaves, overall very good. Provenance: Mary & Brent Maxfield (gilt ownership stamp to upper cover). STC (2nd ed) 5077, Pforzheimer 177, Luborsky & Ingram, English illustrated books, 1536-1603, 5077. Item #318051
The first of several influential editions to be published by Thomas Speght; while it relies heavily on the Stowe edition of 1561, "Speght's notes and introductory material are far more elaborate than in any previous edition and he was the first to provide a substantial glossary ... Speght also contributed new annotations to the text of Chaucer [... and] an extensive biography, which informed all subsequent accounts of the poet's life until the 1840s (ODNB).
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