The Sorrows of Young Werther; Newly translated into English by William Rose

London: The Scholartis Press (printed at the Alcuin Press), 1929. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 1260 copies, octavo size, 174 pp. Fine / near fine. Item #19112201

This is Johann Wolfgang Goethe's (1749-1832) famous semi-autobiographical novel, which influenced the course of European literature, notable for being the first novel of the "Sturm und Drang" movement. Often translated as "Storm and Stress", the movement was "a proto-Romantic movement in German literature and music that occurred between the late 1760s and the early 1780s" (quote per Wiki).

The work was originally published in English in 1779; the present translation, by Dr. William Rose (1894-1961), is from the first edition of 1774. During WWII Rose was in the Intelligence Corps, and served as a German-language specialist working on code breaking; he took an active interest in the fate of German exiled intellectuals, opening his home to figures such as Franz Werfel and Stefan Zweig. He publicly condemned the Nazi regime in openly joining the PEN Club and supporting the "German Library of Burned Books", a collection founded in Paris and other capitals by German emigre writers not only to provide access to these books, but to prove "the indestructible essence of a spiritual culture that is too old for an explosion of barbarism to destroy it" (n.b., quote from "Weimar in Exile" by Jean-Michel Palmier).

___DESCRIPTION: Original orange cloth stamped in gilt at backstrip, fore- and tail-edges uncut, a lengthy introduction (over 35 pp.), with twelve black and white plates (seven by Daniel Chodowiecki, the other five by various artists); octavo size (9" by 6"), pagination: [i-ix] x-xlv [xlvi-xlviii] 1-126, limited edition, one of 1260 copies per the bibliography. The publisher's dust jacket shows the original price of 10s.6d. net on the lower corner of the front flap, short statement about this being "here translated into English for the first time in a hundred years" on the front flap, black lettering on front panel and spine, rest of jacket plain.

___CONDITION: A fine copy, the cloth covers clean, the corners straight and totally unrubbed, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, internally bright with many signatures unopened, and completely free of prior owner markings; the dust jacket is unclipped and near fine overall, showing overall dustiness, some sunning to the spine, and overall minor edgewear.

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Price: $150.00