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Simpson's Choice.

An essay on the future life. Woodcuts by Roald Kristian.

London: Omega Workshops, Ltd, 1915 Stock Code: 143062
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R. Ellis Roberts's review copy

First edition, first impression, one of 500 copies printed, this copy is unnumbered but marked "Review Copy", and bears the pencil ownership inscription, of the journalist and author Richard Ellis Roberts (1879-1953), to the front free endpaper.

Roberts was"for a few years from 1928, literary editor of the New Statesman, and a relatively undistinguished one at that. Kingsley Martin described Roberts (in Father Figures, his first volume of autobiography) as the 'only writer on the NS whose contributions I could not stomach I found his writing intolerable.' Clifford Sharp, Martin's predecessor, wasn't much of a fan either" (Jones).

Simpson's Choice was the first work to be published at the Omega Workshop, which was founded in July 1913, and was to be one of only four books completed by the press. The original prospectus (not present here) stated the intention of this enterprise, declaring that the press intended to publish works "of a special character and to give to the setting of the page and the illustrations as perfect a harmony with the literary idea as possible". It was closely associated with both the Bloomsbury Group and the Hogarth Press, with Roger Fry, Duncan Grant, and Vanessa Bell as its directors, but was short-lived and closed down in 1919.

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Quarto, pp. [16]. Original brown cloth-backed black paper boards, woodcut illustrations to sides, untrimmed.


3 full-page wood-engraved illustrations, numerous head- and tailpieces, and decorative opening initials.


A hint of wear to tips, lightly rubbed, the binding otherwise sharp, the usual browning to endpapers, else internally crisp; a very good copy indeed.


Thomas Jones, Flirtation, "Seduction and Betrayal" in "Short Cuts" Vol. 24 No. 17 · 5 September 2002.


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