New Fairfield, Connecticut: Bruce Rogers, 1957. Limited edition. Original black cloth (9 1/2 inches tall), gilt and blind-stamped boards with colored gilt shield, original glassine wrapper. Fine. Item #1231
"THYS BLESSYD AND HOLY MARTYR SAINT GEORGE IS PATRONE OF THYS ROYAUME OF ENGLOND, AND THE CRYE OF MEN OF WARRE"
Limited edition of a medieval Life of Saint George, the Patron Saint of England—designed by Bruce Rogers with a splendid "decoration" of St. George slaying the Dragon by Valenti Angelo. A beautiful copy, complete with the scarce original glassine wrapper. St. George had long been known in England as the personification of the ideals of Christian chivalry but his cult gained new impetus in England during the Crusades. Richard I placed himself and his army under the saint's protection, and George came to be regarded as the special patron of soldiers. Edward III founded the Order of the Garter under St George's patronage and in 1415 (after the battle of Agincourt, when Henry V invoked George as England's patron) St. George's feast was made one of the principal feasts of the year.
The Golden Legend ("Aurea Legenda"), a collection of hagiographies compiled by Jacobus de Voragine in the thirteenth century, reflected a pervasive Cult of Saints, a popular form of spiritual expression throughout medieval Europe. These Lives of the Saints circulated in hundreds of manuscripts during the High Middle Ages and the Golden Legend was among the earliest books "Englished" and printed by William Caxton in 1483. This separate edition of the Life of St. George was issued as part of the October House Classics series of "early English texts." The series, which also included Morte D'Arthur and The Canterbury Tales, featured texts "printed in the original antique English spelling." One of only 300 copies printed at The Thistle Press on fine Ingres d' Arches paper and bound by Frank Fortney, with a vibrant red-and-white shield of St. George to both boards. Laid-in is an Advance Notice, a folded prospectus for the October House Classics printed for the New York bookseller Philip Duchesnes. An excellent copy.