8vo, pp. xvi, lxxxiii, , 312, ; ink ownership inscription of Thomas Bowring, dated Brooklyn, 1879, to the front flyleaf; a few spots here and there, but a good copy in 19th century green half morocco, upper edge gilt, spine gilt, lightly rubbed.
US $416 €340
First edition: the first appearance of Hungarian literature in English, ‘the first world-wide presentation of the hitherto unknown poetry and literature of an almost unknown people, written in an unknown language’ (Varannai, p. 105). It was for a long time the only Western source for Hungarian poetry.
Poems by over 20 poets are included, among them Miklós Zrínyi (1620–1664), ‘the founder of the modern poetry of the Magyars’ (p. xxxiii); Ferenc Kazinczy (1759–1831), the language reformer and leading translator; Mihály Csokonai (1773–1805), the first major post-Baroque Hungarian lyric poet; Ferenc Kölcsey (1790–1838), a leading essayist; and Mihály Vörösmarty (1800–1855), the finest poet of Hungarian Romanticism. The work ends with over 60 national songs. Bowring also provides an account of the Hungarian language and literature, plus fifty pages of valuable biographical sketches.
Provenance: Thomas Bowring (1847–1915) was the grandson of Benjamin Bowring (a cousin of Sir John), who ran the New York office of the family shipping business.
For a full account of the book, see Aurél Varannai, ‘John Bowring and Hungarian literature’, Acta litteraria Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, vol. VI (1963), pp. 105–148.
You may also be interested in...
COLLUTHUS, of Lycopolis.
The Rape of Helen. Translated from the Greek ... And illustrated with the Notes of Michael Nicander. To which is prefix’d a Fragment of the Author’s Life, from Suidas.
First and only edition, rare, of this translation of Collothus’s Rape of Helen (Αρπαγη Ελενης), ‘a short and charming miniature epic’ (Cambridge Companion to the Epic) written in the late fifth century in Egypt in 392 hexameters.
First edition, signed on the title-page, Weber’s breakthrough publication, his signature style already well in evidence. Slick, in all senses of the word.