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POWER, Anastasia (illus.); KEATS, John.

Calligraphic manuscript of Ode on a Grecian Urn.

Campden: Essex House, 1903 Stock Code: 138536
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A unique Arts and Crafts illuminated manuscript

A remarkable manuscript of Keats's Ode on a Grecian Urn produced by renowned Arts and Crafts binder and calligrapher Anastasia Power. A student of Douglas Cockerell, Power ran the Essex House bindery from the summer of 1902 until her marriage to one of the art workers, Gerald Loosley, in 1905. This manuscript, which is rendered entirely on vellum, appears to have been for her personal practice; Essex House never produced an edition of this work.

Power was "an accomplished artist and calligrapher" and practised illumination with Fred Partridge alongside her role as binder (Dowd, p. 61). She consequently provided the illumination for much of the Press's output at this time.

Power was born in Whitby, the ninth, and youngest daughter of an occultist (Tidcombe, p. 167). After training with Cockerell she set up a binding studio on Museum Street in London with Sylvia Stebbing, where they were regularly visited by Virginia and Vanessa Stephen. Ode on a Grecian Urn is now considered one of Keats's finest works and was first published anonymously in Annals of the Fine Arts for 1819 and subsequently in Keats's final book Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and other poems in 1820.

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Octavo (215 x 140 mm), [pp. 3]. Original limp vellum, white silk ties, title in black in manuscript to front cover.


Text in manuscript on vellum leaves in black, initials and colophon in red, watercolour illustration to first initial, illuminated in gilt.


Faintest soiling to vellum as often, slight fraying to ties; a near-fine copy.


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