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VEDDER, Elihu.

The Digressions of V.

Written for his own fun and that of his friends. Containing the quaint legends of his infancy, an account of his stay in Florence, the Garden of Lost Opportunities, return home on the track of Columbus, his struggle in New York in war-time coinciding with that of the nation, his prolonged stay in Rome, and likewise his prattlings upon art, tamperings with literature, struggles with verse, and many other things, being a portrait of himself from youth to age. With many illustrations by the author.

Published: Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1910

Stock code: 90174

Price: £350

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First edition, first printing. Number 231 of an unspecified limited edition signed by the author on the limitation page, and with his personal bookplate loosely inserted, inscribed by him, “Sincerely yours, Elihu Vedder”. Elihu Vedder (1836–1923) was an American artist whose edition of the Rubáiyát is considered a landmark in American illustration. His style is strongly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and the mysticism of William Blake. As well as “tampering” with literature Vedder forged lasting friendships with Walt Whitman and Herman Melville.

2 volumes, quarto. Original japon boards, titles and decoration to spines in gilt and to boards in gilt and blue, top edges gilt, others uncut. 6 tipped-in coloured plates, complete with printed tissue-guards, 47 black and white plates and illustrations in the text. Small bookseller’s rubber stamps to front pastedowns. Boards and spines lightly rubbed, one wormhole to rear joint of Volume I, fore edges of text block tanned and a little brittle, light partial tanning to endpapers. A very good set.

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