Lang, Andrew, XXII Ballades in Blue China. London: C. Kegan Paul & Co., 1, Paternoster Square, MDCCCLXXX. In-16. [2 initial blanks; half-title; i-vi; vii and viii unpaginated; 9 – 80; 1 final blank] First edition, soft white parchment wrapper, blue lettering. This is the prolific Andrew Lang’s second collection of poems. This copy is believed to be the second of five states, with the following hallmarks: with “and Co.” in Whittingham’s imprint at the end, no accents on the French words manqué and passé on page 13, and there is no additional poem on a. This copy has John A. Spoor’s bookplate, designed by Emery Walker. John A. Spoor was a Grolier Club member from 1903 to the time of his death in 1926. The cover is soiled but over-all condition is fine. Printed on fine laid paper.
Andrew Lang was a Classics scholar and a polymath: poet, novelist, literary critic, and a contributor to the fields of folklore and anthropology. The Andrew Lang Lectures at the University of St. Andrews are named after him. This is his seventh book and second collection of poems. There are more than 170 titles attributed to him. A bibliophile, perhaps the most revealing ballade is “Ballade of the Book Hunter.” John A. Spoor was known as the “J.P. Morgan of the Midwest” in his time. This copy of this book was sold when Spoor’s library was auctioned April 26-28, 1939, Lot 580.