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Ritson, Joseph, ed.; Thomas Bewick, illus.; John Bewick, illus.  Pieces of ancient popular poetry: From authentic manuscripts and old printed copies. London: William Pickering, 1833. 8vo (20.2 cm, 7.9"). xvi, 172, [4] pp.; illus.

First Pickering edition, but second overall: a "republication . . . with the original woodcuts, and Mr. Ritson[']s additions and corrections," along with newer vocabulary glosses, of the 1791 first appearance, which had "become scarce and dear" by the time of this publication (p. [v]). This anthology was compiled by one of the most dedicated scholars of the origins of British literature, and includes "Adam Bel, Clym of the Cloughe, and Wyllyam of Cloudesle," "The King and the Barker," and "The Life and Death of Tom Thumbe." The volume is => illustrated with in-text wood engravings by Thomas and John Bewick, and shows why Pickering is a highly collected printer.
        The wood engravings are printed from the original blocks from Bewick's atelier; however, many of the tailpieces differ from those of the first edition. Also, this edition adds "Sir Peny" from a Cottonian manuscript that was not included in the first edition.
        Provenance: Front free endpaper with difficult to decipher inked ownership inscription dated 1849, half-title with pencilled inscription: "Ex Armario Gulielmi Blaine Wootten." Later in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.

NSTC 2R11684; Hugo, The Bewick Collector, 488; Kelly, Checklist of Books Published by William Pickering, 1833.9; Keynes, William Pickering (rev. ed.), 87. Publisher's plain dark blue cloth, spine with printed paper label; cloth worn and faded, spine extremities and top of label chipped. Inscriptions and ex-libris as above. Pages slightly age-toned, with edges untrimmed and dust-soiled; first and last few leaves lightly foxed. => Externally an unprepossessing, internally an attractive copy.  (37871)   Please RESHELVE This.

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