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COURTEOUS FAIRY by  Giovanni MELI - 19 - from Boston Book Company (SKU: 84438)


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by MELI, Giovanni

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About This Item

19. MELI, Giovanni. BARKER, W. W., trans. THE COURTEOUS FAIRY and THE WORLD. Two Poems of the late John Meli in the Sicilian Dialect with biographical notes by the Abbe Contreras on the author; and the notes in the second edition of his works, to the poem of The World. Freely Translated into English Verse by W. W. Barker. Messina, 1815 to 1834. Calligraphy by John Howard Payne. Quarto. 82ff. Manuscript on lined paper. Beautifully bound in full walnut crushed morocco, intricately gilt, with five raised bands. Crushed green morocco doublures with wide walnut morocco dentelles, also intricately gilt. Silk moire endleaves. Slipcase. T.e.g. Giovanni Meli (1740-1815) was a Sicilian physician, poet, essayist, and satirist from Cinisi, near Palermo. He held the chair in chemistry at the University of Palermo for twenty years, but his first love was Sicilian poetry. The Courteous Fairy ("La Fata Galanti") was his first substantial work in the Palermitan dialect, written at the age of 22, four years before his first published collection. Although much of Giovanni Meli's work has been translated into English and published, "La Fata Galanti" has appeared infrequently in print in English. This nineteenth-century translation is the second of only three English translations (the most recent was published in 2015) and remains unpublished shed. The second title mentioned, "The World," would have probably been a translation of Meli's "L'Origini di lu Munnu," and is not actually included in the bound manuscript. William Wilton Barker (1769-1856) the translator, was the British consul in Messina. His wife was from Palermo, which could explain his proficiency in the Palermitan dialect. The poem tells of a would-be poet who rescues a toad from a peasant. The toad reveals itself to be the Courteous Fairy in disguise. She offers him any favor he desires, and he asks for her help in becoming a poet. They travel on a winged horse to the Isle of Falsehood, the Isle of Medicine, Mount Parnassus, and more. His soul separates from his body to go to the Underworld and on his fabulous journey he meets numerous figures of literature, myth and antiquity, gently satirizing them all. Finally the Fairy advises him to give up poetry for more realistic pursuits, and reveals herself to be the creation o.


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Boston Book Company US (US)
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MELI, Giovanni
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Boston Book Company

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Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
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About Boston Book Company

Specializing in East Asian Books with Aesthetic Interest, Japanese Books with Original Art, English and American Literature, Women's Books and the Generally Intriguing!

Established in 1979, Boston Book Company offers rare and interesting books in a broad range of subjects. Our areas of particular expertise: Japanese artist books of all eras, East Asian art in general, photographica, local history, women's books, English and American literature..

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Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...
Raised Band(s)
Raised bands refer to the ridges that protrude slightly from the spine on leather bound books. The bands are created in the...
The term quarto is used to describe a page or book size. A printed sheet is made with four pages of text on each side, and the...
Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also...