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MORRIS, William.

An Address

Delivered at the Distribution of Prizes to Students of the Birmingham Municipal School of Art of Feb. 21, 1894; [together with:] Art and the Beauty of the Earth.

London: Printed at the Chiswick Press, Published by Longmans & Co., 1898 Stock Code: 142015
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A nice arts and crafts association copy

First editions, first impressions, of these Chiswick Press fine publications of William Morris's lectures printed in the Golden type he designed for the Kelmscott Press; in an attractive arts and crafts style binding by the amateur binder, bibliophile, and author, Fletcher W. Battershall (1866-1929), and with his bookplate on the front pastedown.

Fully rooted in the arts and crafts era, Battershall wrote Bookbinding for Bibliophiles (1905), which he dedicated to Douglas Cockerell and in which he commented on Morris's beauty standards in terms of book production: "William Morris, preoccupied chiefly with the cult of beauty, found in moderate margins the truest loveliness. There is no sanctity in waste paper".

Morris's lecture on Art And The Beauty Of The Earth, the second lecture of a series given at the Burslem Town Hall in 1881, exhorts the audience to appreciate and contribute to the beauties of the Earth through their craft. He also asks "what is the remedy for the lack of due pleasure in their work which has befallen all craftsmen, and for the consequent sickness of art and degradation of civilization?" (p. 19); a question he seems to have come to terms with by 1894 when, in his Address, Morris urges the Birmingham students to embrace and nurture "the pleasure of creating beautiful things, which is the greatest pleasure in the world" (p. 25).

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Octavo (207 x 141 mm). Finely bound by Battershall in full brown sheep, titles in gilt direct to spine and to front board, forming a frame, boards panelled in single gilt rules, central double diamond design from heart, circles, and leaf motifs in gilt, leaf motifs and gilt ruling to turn-ins, grey-blue endpapers, gilt edges.


Notably unfaded and crisp; a fine copy.


Fletcher W. Battershall, "Bookbinding for Bibliophiles", pp. 57-8.


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