I want ALL the Idylls!
November 19, 2014 2:25 PM   Subscribe

I want to give my husband a copy of Idylls Of The King by Tennyson for Christmas. Am I on an impossible quest?

The ideal copy would:
1) have a hard cover
2) be pretty
3) be old but in good condition
4) cost less than $100
5) have illustrations
6) contain all twelve poems*

I have been able to find several books that meet one through five but six is complicated because:
1) Sellers on ebay, etsy, etc almost never post a picture of the table of contents, so I have to contact each one to ask for this. Not a huge deal as most have readily obliged.
2) All of the old, pretty books seem to leave out The Marriage of Geraint and Balin and Balan.
3) I can find a recent paperback edition which has all the poems, but then that doesn't satisfy conditions one through five.

This has led me to my questions:
1) Is there some reason that The Marriage of Geraint and Balin and Balan are so often left out?.
2) Is there a good resource for finding specific information about all of the editions of a particular book? I guess I am imagining something like a list of all the editions ever published with information such as date, publisher, number of pages, and table of contents. Then I would know if what I want exists and would have more specific search words if it does.
3) Is my quest impossible?

*To be clear by all twelve poems I mean: The Coming of Arthur, Gareth and Lynette, The Marriage of Geraint, Geraint and Enid, Balin and Balan, Merlin and Vivien, Lancelot and Elaine, The Holy Grail, Pelleas and Ettare, The Last Tournament, Guinevere, and The Passing of Arthur. I would really like it to also have Dedication and To The Queen.
posted by zanybutterfly to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Could you get an existing edition and an older one with illustrations rebound together by a local bookbinder?
posted by tardigrade at 2:38 PM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

To see a list of editions, WorldCat will have many, but probably not all of them listed. It will also give you an ISBN most of the time. Here are the listings of two different titles

Tennyson's Idylls of the King
Idylls of the King and other poems
posted by soelo at 2:59 PM on November 19, 2014

Best answer: I have this version, and it fits all of your criteria:



The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous!
posted by Boogiechild at 8:17 PM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oops -- forgot to add that the links above don't include photos of the Table of Contents, but I can assure you that they are the same edition that I have, and they include everything you want (even Dedication and To The Queen). This is seriously one of the treasures of my library. It's a beautiful book.

FYI, The Heritage Illustrated Bookshelf, The Heritage Press, New York, 1939, illustrated by Robert Ball.
posted by Boogiechild at 8:23 PM on November 19, 2014

Response by poster: Thank you, boogiechild! I will be ordering a copy later today, and my husband will be very happy to have it.
posted by zanybutterfly at 5:36 AM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

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