Fireside Entertainments; or, A Series of Interesting Tales ...

London: Chapman and Hall ... 1874.

8vo., with the half-title and separate fly-titles to identify each translator’s contribution; original green cloth blocked in black, spine gilt, minor wear, but a very good, bright copy.


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First edition in English of Guerini’s Trenta Novelle (1873), a collection of short stories with contemporary or historical Italian settings by Bulwer-Lytton’s Italian translator. In the original language these stories--’Rubens’ Studio’, ‘The Uncle from America’, ‘Shut up in Church’, ‘The Haunted House’--had already met with a generous response ‘in this noble and hospitable country’. Now fourteen pupils studying Italian with the author, mainly young ladies but including Lord Francis Hervey as well as his sister Lady Mary, offer English translations, each undertaking two or three tales. Honoured by their efforts, Guerini himself arranged publication. Despite the imprint of the eminent firm of Chapman and Hall there may have been an element of ‘vanity’ publishing as the book is oddly rare. Not in Wolff; no copy in NUC.

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