BÜRGER, Gottfried August

BÜRGER, Gottfried August. Leonora. Translated from the German by W. R. Spencer. With designs by the Right Honourable Lady Diana Beauclerc.


London: Printed by T. Bensley; for J. Edwards, and E. and S. Harding, 1796.




£ 2,000




FIRST EDITION. Folio. (8), 35 pp., (2). Engraved frontispiece; Title page; three full-page engraved plates and two engraved vignettes, drawn by Lady Diana Beauclerk,engraved by Bartolozzi, Harding and Birrell.  Very slight yellowing and some foxing throughout; but mostly clean pages with wide margins. In German and English; Gothic and Roman typescript. Contemporary vellum by the renowned Edwards of Halifax bindery with gilt tooled decorative vine with green coloured-in details; gilt decoration on spine with gilt green title label, slightly faded; slight soiling and scratching on boards; marbled endpapers; gilt dentelles. Overall, a fine copy.



“Lenore”, sometimes translated as “Leonora”, “Leonore” or “Ellenore”, is a poem written by the German author Gottfried August Bürger (1747 –1794) in 1773, and published in 1774 in the Göttinger Musenalmanach. “Lenore” is generally characterised as being part of the 18th century Gothic ballads, and although the character that returns from its grave in the poem is not considered to be a vampire, the poem has been very influential on vampire literature. The poem was very popular especially in England, where in the same year as this version there were translations or adaptations by Henry James Pye, William Taylor and Walter Scott. The present volume contains the translation by the poet William Robert Spencer (1770-1834).