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London: Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, . First English Edition Duodecimo (3-7/8" x 6-1/4") bound in modern quarter calf leather over marbled boards, five raised bands and gilt rules to spine, gilt lettering, marbled endpapers; xxxvi, 115, {5 advertisements] pages. First published in Paris by Didot in 1802, this is the first edition of the first English translation from the French by William B. Hewetson. Includes a Life of the Author by Jauffret. Complete with half-title page, frontispiece engraved by Mackenzie after Thomson, and 5 pages of ads at the end. Some foxing to the frontispiece with slight offsetting to the title page; contents quite clean and bright. Binding tight and firm. About Fine and quite scarce (Item ID: 017292)

According to medieval legend William Tell from Burglen was known as an expert marksman with the crossbow. In the early 1300s, the Habsburg emperors were seeking to dominate Uri. Hermann Gessler, the newly appointed Austrian Vogt of Altdorf, raised a pole in the village's central square with his hat on top and demanded that all the local townsfolk bow before it. As Tell passed by without bowing, he was arrested. He received the punishment of being forced to shoot an apple off the head of his son, Walter, or else both would be executed. Tell had been promised freedom if he shot the apple. Tell split the fruit with a single bolt from his crossbow, without mishap. When Gessler queried him about the purpose of the second bolt in his quiver, Tell answered that if he had ended up killing his son in that trial, he would have turned the crossbow on Gessler himself. Gessler became enraged at that comment and had Tell bound and brought to his ship to be taken to his castle at Küssnacht. In a storm on Lake Lucerne, Tell managed to escape. On land, he went to Küssnacht, and when Gessler arrived, Tell shot him with the crossbow. This defiance of the Austrian, Gessler, sparked a rebellion, leading to the formation of the Swiss Confederation.


We judge condition conservatively. All books are octavo First American or British editions in original bindings offered subject to prior sale unless otherwise noted. Dustwrappers present when described. All autographs are unconditionally guaranteed for life to be genuine. We attempt to note signatures and bookplates when present as well as any defect we see. In any case, any item may be returned, with prior notice, within 7 days of receipt for any reason. All returns should be shipped fully insured and prior notification should be given.



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