London: Isaac Jaggard, 1625.
The Modell of Wit, Mirth, Eloquence, and Conversation. Framed in Ten Dayes, of an hundred curious Pieces, by Seven Honourable Ladies, and three Noble Gentlemen. Preserved for Posterity by the Renowned John Boccacio, the first Refiner of Italian Prose: And now translated into English. London: Isaac Jaggard, 1625.
BOCCACCIO, Giovanni. The Modell of Wit, Mirth, Eloquence, and Conversation. Framed in Ten Dayes, of an hundred curious Pieces, by Seven Honourable Ladies, and three Noble Gentlemen. Preserved for Posterity by the Renowned John Boccacio, the first Refiner of Italian Prose: And now translated into English. London: Isaac Jaggard, 1625.
The Decameron, containing an hundred pleasant novels. Wittily discoursed betweene seven Honourable Ladies and three Noble Gentlemen. The last Five Dayes. London: Isaac Jaggard, 1620.
Second edition in English of Volume I, first edition of Volume II. The 1620 printing of the first volume is comparatively rare. Together two quarto volumes bound in one.
(10 7/8 x 6 7/8 inches; 276 x 174 mm). , 193; , 134, 137-187 [ie 188] leaves. Bound without first and final blank in both volume. Numerous mispaginations, but textually complete. Engraved title pages, each title-page within an elaborate woodcut border. With ninety-eight woodcut illustrations (including repeats of portions of borders). Numerous woodcut initials, head- and tail-pieces throughout the text.
Late eighteenth-century calf, neatly rebacked, with original spine laid down. Spine richly tooled in gilt, with a red morocco lettering label. Marbled endpapers. Edges dyed red. A bit of light marginal dampstaining. Leaf Ee3 with some tears to the blank fore-edge margin. Previous owner's bookplate on front pastedown. Overall, a very good copy, attractively bound.
The first English translation of Boccaccio's Decameron was possibly translated by John Florio, the Italian Lexicographer who is best known for his English version of Montaigne. The printer Jaggard must have still had sheets of Volume II available when a new edition of his Decameron was called for as it was never necessary to reprint the second half of the text. The first issue of this volume was published three years before the first folio of Shakespeare (1623), and produced by the same printer, Isaac Jaggard. Boccaccio, "the father of Italian prose," strongly influenced both Shakespeare (most evident in "Troilus and Cressida") and Chaucer. Although now regarded as one of the greatest of literary classics, his Decameron has had an extraordinary controversial history. In 1497, manuscripts and printed parts were thrown into Savaronola's Bonfire of the Vanities, while in 1559, at the direction of Pope Paul IV, the book was prohibited in all but a grossly expurgated form.
A most important edition of this superb, beautifully illustrated literary landmark.
Grolier, Wither to Prior, 250. Pforzheimer 71 and 72. STC 3172 and 3173. See Haight, Banned Books, 7-8, and Printing and The Mind of Man, 115.