Brittons Bowre of Delights, 1591

Brittons Bowre of Delights, 1591

Brittons Bowre of Delights, 1591

Brittons Bowre of Delights, 1591

Excerpt

Brittons Bowre of Delights1 is one of the most interesting poetical miscellanies of the Elizabethan period and one of the rarest books in the English language. Of the first edition ( 1591), which is here reproduced, the only known copy, inaccessible to students for many years, is now in the Huntington Library; of the second edition ( 1597) but two copies are extant, one in the Huntington Library, the other in the British Museum.

It is impossible to keep from sympathizing with that editor-of-all-work, Dr. Alexander B. Grosart, when he tells of his unsuccessful attempts to see and to secure permission to reprint the unique, or supposedly unique, Breton items once in the Britwell Library. In The Works in Verse and Prose of Nicholas Breton ( 2 volumes, 1875-1879) he necessarily omits his usual word Complete, and frequently he laments his hard luck. "I also poignantly regret," he writes in one place, 2 "the inaccessibility of the exemplars at Britwell of such of Breton's books as are nowhere else preserved"; "it makes me heart-sore not to be able to reproduce [them]," he adds in another;3 and, finally, "No one either save myself can estimate the disappointment that I feel in being unable to 'complete' the Works by adding the FOUR4 . . .

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