[Reynard the Fox] The Most Delectable History of Reynard the Fox. Newly corrected and purged, from all grossness in phrase and matter. Augmented and enlarged with sundry excellent morals and expositions upon every several chapter. To which may now be added a second part of the said history: as also the shifts of Reynard the son of Reynard the Fox, together with his life and death, &c. [With:] The Most Pleasant and Delightful History of Reynard the Fox. The Second Part... [With:] The Shifts of Reynardine the Son of Reynard the Fox or a Pleasant History of His Life and Death. Full of Variety, &c.

London: Edward Brewster, 1694, 1681 & 1684.

Price: $7,500.00

About the item

First edition of the Third Part. With 62 woodcut illustrations in first part, signed E.B., of which 23 are repeats, and 15 woodcuts in second part (repeated from first part). [80] leaves, A-U4; [56] leaves, A-O4; and 80 leaves, A-X4 (paginated [8], 160). 1 vols. Small 4to. Modern blind paneled calf, raised bands, gilt label. First two parts illustrated with spirited woodcuts. Occasional foxing and mild spotting, usual tanning, lower forecorners of E2-3 in first part torn away and replaced, with a few letters and a few words in the sidenote in ms, a few upper margins dust-soiled, last three gatherings in third part supplied from another copy and trimmed slightly shorter at lower margin. A good, sound copy, neatly bound. ESTC R24532, R218371 & R40614; Wing S3513, M2912 & S3436; Brunet IV: 1228. Lowndes VII:2076; Osborne II, p. 610 (with the first part dated 1701).

Item #365425

An omnibus gathering of these three separately printed editions, each with independent register, and with the title of the first part taking into account the presence of the latter two. The terminal advert leaf to the first part is present. Wing attributes the text of the first part to John Shirley, and that for the third is occasionally attributed to the publisher, Edward Brewster. The first part was first printed in this form in 1667, and the second part in 1672; the first part was reprinted again in 1701.
Among the most widely adapted of the beast fables, the tales of Reynard the Fox originated in the 12th and 13th centuries, with early versions in French, Dutch, Latin, and German being notable.
Caxton printed the first English translation based on a Flemish text in 1481. The character of Reynard, an anthropomorphic fox and trickster, has since become almost an archetype in the literatures of many languages.“The supreme ‘anti-hero’ of medieval fiction” (Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English).