[Waltham Saint Lawrence]: The Golden Cockerel Press, 1927. Gibbings, Robert. Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 96 of 275 copies, folio size,  pp. Near fine. Item #18041709
Lucian of Samosata (ca. 125 AD - ca. 180 AD) was a Hellenized Syrian satirist and rhetorician whose works were quite popular in his time, and survive in a great quantity compared to his contemporaries. His "True History" is a self-admitted work of fiction, written in the second century AD, and remains his best-known work. The story was meant to be a satirical work, criticising contemporaries that presented mythical events as historical truths. "The True History" is considered by many to be the earliest known work of science fiction, and includes travel to outer space, alien creatures, and interplanetary battles.
In this edition by the Golden Cockerel Press, probably the finest ever printed, engraver and book designer Robert Gibbings (1889-1958) has provided fine wood engravings to accompany the text, arranging the English translation within a carefully puzzled border made up of the original Greek text and the illustrations. The text is that of Francis Hickes (1565/6-1631), first published in 1634 by his son, three years after his father's death. Hickes spent his life devoted to translating Greek to English, though sadly none of his works were published during his lifetime. His translation of Lucien is done with loyalty and patience, translated directly from the original Greek. While it may lack some of the spirit and embellishment of North or Holland's later translations, its devoted simplicity is much more of an homage to the original text. A fine exemplar of printing from the Golden Cockerel Press, and a masterpiece of antiquity.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe in quarter brown leather with linen boards, five raised bands and gilt lettering on the spine, top edge gilt, fore- and bottoms edges uncut, black-and-white wood engravings by Robert Gibbings throughout; Caslon O. F. type, English hand-made paper, folio size (12.75" by 9"), pagination: [i-iv]  2-43  [1 colophon], one of 275 copies, this number 96. In the original publisher slipcase, brown paper over boards.
___CONDITION: A near fine copy, with clean boards, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; some sunning to the spine, and small areas of off-setting to the endpapers from the leather turn-ins, else fine. The slipcase is very good; with some professional restoration, it is now strong and sturdy, clean overall with some minor soiling, and some rubbing to the edges. A lovely example of Robert Gibbings work, published during the heyday of the Golden Cockerel Press.
___CITATION: Chanticleer no. 53.
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