Troilus and Cressida – Illustrated by Eric Gill 1932


  • Author: Geoffrey Chaucer, illustrated by Eric Gill
  • Publisher: Literary Guilkd, NY, 1932
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Size: 4to
  • Attributes: First Edition, Illustrated

First edition thus, first printing. Binding tight, light toning around the edges, spine faded, internally fine, unmarked. Wiht many full page woodcut engravings by Eric Gill. Very Good.

“Troilus and Criseyde” is an epic poem by Geoffrey Chaucer, probably completed during the mid-1380s. It retells the tragic story of the lovers Troilus and Criseyde set against a backdrop of war during the siege of Troy. The poem is written in Middle English and is considered by many Chaucer scholars as his finest work1.

The story revolves around Troilus, son of King Priam of Troy, who falls in love with Criseyde, a Trojan noblewoman. Troilus is assisted in his pursuit of her by Pandarus, Criseyde’s uncle. However, Criseyde is forced to leave Troy and subsequently betrays Troilus2.

Geoffrey Chaucer’s version is less cynical and less misogynistic than Boccaccio’s, casting Criseyde as fearful and sincere rather than simply fickle. It also inflects the sorrow of the story with humor1. The poem had an important legacy for later writers.

The book is illustrated with many wood engravings by Eric Gill.

Arthur Eric Rowton Gill (1882-1940) was an English sculptor, typeface designer, and printmaker. He was associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. Gill established craft communities emphasizing manual labor. His notable works include sculptures and engravings, and he designed the typefaces Perpetua and Gill Sans. He created engravings for a series of books published by the Golden Cockerel Press considered among the finest of their kind.

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