The Nights of Straparola, trans. W. G. Waters, illust. E. R. Hughes, A.R. W.S. (Lawrence and Bullen, London, 1894, first edition, first translation into English, #122/210 printed on Japanese Vellum)
11.75″ X 8.75″, 2 volumes 276pp 323pp, original vellum binding, good condition for age, ribbons intact, soiling to boards, corners bumped edges worn, vellum spine is bubbling vol. 1, internal pages clean and engravings immaculate with tissue guards.
The Facetious Nights of Straparola (1550-1555; Italian: Le piacevoli notti), also known as The Nights of Straparola, is a two-volume collection of 75 stories by Italian author and fairy-tale collector Giovanni Francesco Straparola(c.1480-c.1557). Modelled after Bocaccio’s Decameron, it has participants of a 13-night party in the island of Murano, near Venice, tell each other stories that vary from bawdy to fantastic. It contains the first known written versions of many fairy tales. It would influence later fairy-tale authors like Charles Perrault and Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. A beautiful, rare, book, this is a very limited edition and the first translation into English.
Arthur Henry Bullen, often known as A. H. Bullen, (1857-1920) was an English editor and publisher, and a specialist in 16th and 17th century literature. His father George Bullen was librarian at the British Museum. A. H. Bullen’s interest in Elizabethan dramatists and poets started at the City of London School, before he went to Worcester College, Oxford to study classics. His publishing career began with a scholarly edition of the Works of John Day in 1881 and continued with series of English Dramatists and a seven-volume set of Old English Plays, some of which he had discovered in manuscript and published for the first time. He was also the first person to publish some early lyric poems. Bullen wrote more than 150 articles for the Dictionary of National Biography, lectured on Elizabethan dramatists at Oxford University and taught at Toynbee Hall. In 1891 he and H. W. Lawrence went into partnership as the publishers Lawrence & Bullen. This lasted until 1900 when Bullen moved on to publish as A. H. Bullen. With Frank Sidgwick as partner, he then formed the Shakespeare Head Press for which he is most known.