The heroic Elegies and other Pieces of Llywarç Hen, Prince…

The heroic Elegies and other Pieces of Llywarç Hen, Prince of the Cumbrian Britons: with a literal Translation, by William Owen. by LLYWARCH, Hen.

~ The heroic Elegies and other Pieces of Llywarç Hen, Prince of the Cumbrian Britons: with a literal Translation, by William Owen. London: Printed for J. Owen... and E. Williams... 1792.

8vo (229 × 140 mm), pp. lxxx, 149, [1], plus final advertisement leaf; printed in Welsh and English on facing pages; early pencil marginalia in places; some spotting throughout; uncut in contemporary half calf, rebacked and recornered; engraved armorial bookplate of Lord Dinorben.

First edition, edited by the Welsh lexicographer William Owen Pughe (1759–1835) and dedicated by him to the naturalist and travel writer Thomas Pennant, and the antiquary and collector Paul Panton (whose literary manuscripts later provided Owen with material for the important Myvyrian Archaiology, 1801–7). This is the rare issue in which the double rules above and below the epigraph on the title-page are 8 mm apart (rather than 13 mm or 27 mm). ESTC locates 2 copies only, at Harvard and Illinois.

At the time this edition was produced, it was still thought that Llywarch Hen (‘Llywarch the Old’, 496?–646?) was the author of this important cycle of early Welsh saga poetry, but modern scholarship has restored him ‘to his proper role as subject of part of the poetry’ (Oxford DNB). Not in Jackson.

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