Sir Israel GOLLANCZ (1863-1930).
Pearl. An English Poem of the Fourteenth Century. Edited with a Modern Rendering by Israel Gollancz [Prefatory lines by Lord Tennyson]. London: published by David Nutt, 1891. Octavo (8 5/8 x 6in; 219 x 153mm). Pp. [i-ii, i-]xi-lii; [1-]141[-142. Photogravure frontispiece after William Holman Hunt. Title printed in red and black, parallel texts in Old English (on the left page) and the modern translation on the right page). (Two light marks to title [see images]). Later cream morocco, with an overall gilt design made up from dots and small flowerheads (see images), title lettered in gilt on the flat spine, gilt turn ins, gilt star and dot endpapers, top edges gilt (some darkening to the leather [see images])
Provenance: Claude Joseph Goldsmid Montefiore (1858-1938, presentation inscription from Gollancz ‘Claude G. Montefiore Esq. / with the Editor’s kind regards / June 1891’).
First edition, this number 39 of 50 copies on Japanese vellum, signed by the publisher. This copy a presentation copy from the editor/translator to an important figure in the Anglo-Jewish community. Sir Israel went on to publish two updated editions of ‘The Pearl’, in 1918 and 1921, making the “poem his own” according to ‘The Times’.
Claude Joseph Goldsmid Montefiore (1858–1938) “was the intellectual founder of Anglo-Liberal Judaism and the founding president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, a scholar of the Hebrew Bible, rabbinic literature and New Testament. He was a significant figure in the contexts of modern Jewish religious thought, Jewish-Christian relations, and Anglo-Jewish socio-politics, and educator. Montefiore was President of the Anglo-Jewish Association and an influential anti-Zionist leader, who co-founded the anti-Zionist League of British Jews in 1917.” Along with Israel Gollancz, he was one of ‘The Ten’ who, in April 1919, wrote the controversial letter to the London Morning Post titled "Bolshevism and Jewry: a Repudiation."
The Times wrote of Sir Israel, that he “was widely known as an Early and Middle English scholar, and was the editor of several text of the period. He had published also works of Shakespearian criticism. He was an active as a member of various learned societies, having been chairman of the Shakespeare Association and from 1910 to 1922 president of the Philological Society; and tool in addition a leading part in the movement for a National Theatre … As an English scholar and textual editor Professor Gollancz was industrious in collation, ingenious in amendment, and enterprising in suggestion. His texts are not impeccable, and on occasions his cleverness perhaps exceeded his judgment, but he was in the front rank of workers in an obscure and difficult field, where learning needed to be joined with enthusiasm. His first text of "Pearl" was published as early as 1891, and with later editions in 1918 and 1921 he made that poem his own. There followed, in 1892, Crynewulf's "Christ," and in 1895 the "Exeter Book of Anglo-Saxon Poetry." … Sir Israel's Shakespearian publications included "Hamlet in Iceland" (1898), "The Book of Homage to Shakespeare" (1916), and "The Sources of Hamlet" (1926). He was editor also of the Temple Shakespeare, 1894-96. Sir Israel was highly esteemed by his fellow scholars all over the world; his charm of manner, his eagerness to help others, and his enthusiastic energy won him many friends.”
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- Size: 8 5/8 x 6in; 219 x 153mm
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