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Simpson's Choice.

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

London: Omega Workshops, Ltd, 1915 Stock Code: 146170
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The first Omega Workshop book

First edition, first impression, one of 500 copies printed, this one hand-numbered by Roger Fry. 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.

This copy has a highly distinguished collector's provenance, bearing the bookplate of William Beekman on the front pastedown of the chemise. Much of Beekman's excellent Bloomsbury Group and Hogarth Press collection now forms part of the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library.

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Quarto, pp. [16]. Original brown cloth-backed black paper boards, woodcut illustrations to sides, untrimmed. Housed in a custom dark grey cloth chemise and matching slipcase with titles in gilt to black leather spine label.


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


Corners a trifle rubbed, minute stain to front board, the binding otherwise sharp, light browning to endpapers, else internally clean and fresh; a near-fine copy.


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


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