H&W Brochure - page 28-29

Geoffrey Chaucer; Cecily Peele (purveyor). The Canterbury Pilgrims.
Oxford: The Alley Workshops, circa 1925. Twenty-nine hand-colored portraits of
Chaucer’s Canterbury pilgrims on horseback, measuring between 2.5 and 3 inches high,
mounted on flat wooden figurines and set in wooden bases. Light wear to figurines, two
bases supplied in modern facsimile. $950.
Set of hand-painted wooden figurines representing the pilgrims in Geoffrey
Canterbury Tales
, from the “verray parfit gentil Knyght” to the bawdy
Wife of Bath to the figure of Chaucer himself, calmly pointing the way ahead.
In 1922, Oxford mapmaker Cecily Peele opened the AlleyWorkshops, an inventive
literary-themed gift shop, with a specialty in “wild and tame toys.” Rod Barron
notes: “From advertisements published in the early 1920s, it is clear that the
Workshops’ principal target audience was the growing number of financially
independent female students.” This complete set of Canterbury pilgrims includes
all the characters mentioned in Chaucer’s prologue:
At nyght was come into that
hostelrye / Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye, / Of sondry folk, by aventure yfalle / In
felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they alle, / That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde.
portraits are based on the illuminations in the fifteenth-century Ellesmere
manuscript of
The Canterbury Tales
, now at the Huntington Library.
[James Cadwalader McCall]. The Witch of New England. Bound with: [Lydia Maria
Child]. Hobomok.
Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1824, and Boston: Cummings, Hilliard &
Co., 1824. 12mo, contemporary calf, contemporary annotations throughout text. $4000.
First editions of two scarce historical novels set in Puritan New England, both
dealing with themes of romance between Native Americans and white settlers.
TheWitch of New England
depicts only unrequited attraction, but
the first novel by abolitionist Lydia Maria Child, features the consensual
marriage of a Pequod chief and an English colonist, a plot twist that shocked
contemporary readers.
[Harriet Jacobs]; Lydia Maria Child (editor). Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
Boston: Published for the Author, 1861. Octavo, original cloth. $4800.
First edition of Harriet Jacobs’s harrowing slave narrative, written under the name
of Linda Brent. Inspired by
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
, Jacobs used the tropes of the
sentimental novel to convey the desperate experience of motherhood in slavery.
Although she advises readers to “be assured this narrative is no fiction,” historians
treated the work as a novel until the 1980s. The contemporary pencil note in this
copy, correctly identifying the family of Jacobs’s northern employers, confirms that
Linda Brent’s real identity was widely known in her time.
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