London: Chatto and Windus: Publishers, 1908. Small quarto (6 3/8 inches tall), original blind-stamped brown pigskin, original hinge-strap metal clasps. Minor tanning to endpapers. About-fine. Item #1108
"RELIGION AND CHIVALRY JOINED HANDS" "BETHINK YOU, GENTLE LADY, OF YOUR VERY GREAT GRACE, TO GRANT A GOOD LIFE, AND A GOOD END TO ALL THOSE WHO BEAR WITH THIS BOOK, AND HOLD IN HONOUR"
First edition thus of these illustrated Miracle-stories of the Blessed Virgin Mary, when "Religion and Chivalry joined hands"—in the original deluxe medieval-style binding with working metal clasps. Originally transcribed from Latin into medieval French by Gautier de Coinci, a Monk of St. Médard (the once-royal abbey of the Frankish kings), this volume collects eight legends: I. Of the Tumbler of Our Lady, II. Of a Knight to Which Our Lady Appeared Whilst He Prayed, III. Of the Knight Whose Place at the Tournament was Taken by Our Lady, IV. Of the Clerk and the Ring, V. Of the Monk and the Five Roses of the Holy Shift of Chartres, VI. Of the Drowning Man Delivered, VII. Of a Jew Who Took in Pledge the Image of Our Lady, VIII. Of Our Lady of Roc-Amadour. With both a brief prologue and epilogue by Gautier de Coinci: "Bethink you, gentle Lady, of your very great grace, to grant a good life, and a good end to all those, clerks and laymen, dames and maidens, who bear with this book, and hold it in honour." Illustrated with a tissue-guarded frontispiece, an illustrated title page (of a Church interior) designed by Blanche C. Hunter and reproduced on the binding, a printed title page, and 6 additional engraved plates. Usually encountered in gilt paper boards, this copy was bound in blind-stamped pigskin and features the still functional original metal clasps. Translated by Alice Kemp-Welch for The New Medieval Series with a short Introduction: "In France, in the Middle Ages, the cult of the Virgin formed the great religious, just as the cult of woman formed the great social, movement. Religion and Chivalry joined hands."