Welcome to Peter Harrington Books


Rare books and first editions printed by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press.

The Kelmscott Press (operating 1891–98) was a private press founded by the English designer and author William Morris (1834–69). Morris was a socialist intellectual who believed that industrialisation had alienated workers from the products of their labour and lowered the quality of goods. His advocacy of skilled craftsmanship and the aesthetic sensibilities of the Middle Ages led to the birth of the highly influential Arts & Crafts movement. Morris’ interior design firm led the way in the production of wallpapers, stained glass, and textiles, and in 1891 he founded the Kelmscott Press to produce fine hand-made books that were inspired by illuminated manuscripts and the typography of Italian Renaissance printers. The products of the Kelmscott Press include some of the most beautiful books ever created, including the monumental Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, as well The Poems of William Shakespeare, Thomas More’s Utopia, new editions of medieval works such as Reynard the Foxe and The Order of Chivalry, and poetry and essays by contemporary authors including Rossetti, Swinburne, and Morris himself.

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