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Illustration of a knight on horseback from the first book of the Fairie Queene

Spenser, Edmund, 1552?-1599.
The Faerie Queene: Disposed into Twelve Bookes Fashioning XII Morall Vertues. Oxford: Limited Editions Club, 1953. 2 Volumes.
Call Number: (SPL) PR 2358 .A3 H3 1953
Gift of Loryn Romadka, from the collection of Austin F. Lutter.
Special Collections, Golda Meir Library

Limited edition of 1500 copies. The text of this edition is edited by J.C. Smith and collated from the first three editions.

Una and the Knight of the Red Crosse Una and the Knight of the Red Crosse

John Austen illustrated several books for the Limited Editions Club and established himself as a popular book illustrator. Other illustrations by Austen include the Limited Editions Club edition of The Frogs by Aristophanes, included in this exhibit.

Austen approached The Limited Editions Club about designing a Club edition of The Faerie Queene. He envisioned a large, two-volume edition with wood engravings made to resemble the tapestries of Elizabethan times. In 1939, he began the design work at his home near Canterbury, England and continued throughout the early years of the war in what became known as Hell's Corner.

Austen died before he could complete the design, and the Club was forced to place the project on hold for the remainder of the war. It took several years following the end of fighting to revive the publication effort. Agnes Miller Parker agreed to complete the work of her friend, John Austen and Charles Batey agreed to print the edition at the Oxford University Press.

Almost 15 years in the making, this edition was released in 1953 and promptly dubbed the "Coronation" edition because it was shipped to subscribers the same month that Queen Elizabeth II was crowned.


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Prepared by Christopher Barth, Virginia Haas, and Sarah McDaniel