Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981. Single volume, measuring 5.75 x 3.5: xix, , 412. Original blindstamped blue cloth boards lettered in gilt, original unclipped dust jacket. Bookplate of Jack and Frances Donaldson to front free endpaper, lightest edgewear to jacket.
Handsome pocket edition of this classic Oxford anthology of narrative verse, first published in 1930, with a foreword by poet Edmund Blunden: “A good narrative poem is a long strain of music accompanying a designed movement of human lives and passions, various in volume, in harmony, in time.” The selections include old English ballads and selections from The Canterbury Tales, The Faerie Queene, and Paradise Lost, as well as the entirety of The Rape of the Lock and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. This copy belonged to British politician Jack Donaldson, who served as Minister of State for the Arts from 1976 to 1979, and writer Frances Donaldson, biographer of Evelyn Waugh and P.G. Wodehouse. A fine copy.