Volk-Songs Translated From the Acta Comparationis Litterarum Universarum [and] Selections From the Poems of Alexander Petofi.
1885 First Edition of the first English translation of Romanian folk poetry. Magyar, Transylvanian Romanian, Transylvanian Ziegeuner and Gypsy folk songs.
Rare. No copies recorded in America. Translated by Henry Phillips, Jr. Hugo von Meltzel’s or Meltzl’s work is the first English translation of Romanian folk poetry.
Meltzl was a pioneer in the field of comparative literature, and the primary editor of the first journal of comparative literature and world literature, the Acta Comparationis Litterarum Universarum, published from 1877–88. [Damrosch, op. cit.] At its zenith, this journal had a rarefied circulation of one hundred copies. The Gypsy folk songs in this book were abstracted from this journal.
Phillips’s translation offered Magyar, Transylvanian Roumanian, Transylvanian Ziegeuner and Gypsy folk songs for curious American and English-speaking audiences.
The second work in this volume, Selections From the Poems of Alexander Petofi, offered lyrical and political poetry by Sándor Petöfi (1823–1849), the renowned Hungarian poet and master of Hungary’s native Magyar language. Petöfi died in battle leading the Hungarian War of Independence 1848–1849.
We trace one copy sold in 1906, in the Third Part of the The Private Library of Wilberforce Eames sale.
Description: Volk-Songs Translated From the Acta Comparationis Litterarum Universarum [and] Selections From the Poems of Alexander Petofi.
Philadelphia: [Privately Printed], 1885. First Edition. 12mo.  + pp. Two volumes in one. Half morocco, marbled boards, top-edge gilt by Philadelphia bookbinders, Oldach & Co. Presentation in pencil: “From Uncle Herman Oldach.” Near fine.
Damrosch, “Rebirth of a Discipline: The Global Origins of Comparative Studies” in Comparative Critical Studies 3.1-2 (2006) pp. 99-112. “Sándor Petöfi” in Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement Vol. 23. Gale, 2003.] OCLC locates 1 copy at the British Library, 1 copy at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. None in America.