The Deserted Village.Campden, Gloucestershire: Essex House Press, 1904 Stock Code: 137543
One of 150 copies printed on vellum and hand illuminatedFirst Essex House Press edition, number 120 of 150 copies only, printed on vellum and hand illuminated. Goldsmith's poem, first published in 1770, is a pastoral elegy and political polemic which depicts an idealised, and supposedly lost, rural lifestyle. It is presented here as the twelfth work in the Essex House Press Great Poems Series. The Essex House Press was founded by Charles Robert Ashbee and Laurence Hodson following the closure of William Morris's Kelmscott Press in 1897 and "came from the heart of the arts and crafts movement" (Franklin, p. 64). Ashbee bought the Kelmscott Press's Albion printing presses after William Morris's death, and employed one of the Kelmscott compositors, Thomas Binning. In 1902 "a bindery was established in the Guild, under the direction of Annie Power, who had been a student of Douglas Cockerell" (Crawford, p. 400). Power provided the illuminated letters for this work, alongside Florence Kingsford Cockerell (1871-1949), one of the leading book illuminators of the English Arts and Crafts Movement, who studied calligraphy under Edward Johnston and predominantly worked for the Ashendene Press.
Small octavo, pp. 24. Original stiff vellum, spine lettered in gilt, "Soul is Form" rose motif stamped in blind to front cover, edges untrimmed.
Hand-coloured frontispiece and colophon vignette with tissue guards, by Charles Robert Ashbee, illuminated letters in gilt, red, blue, and green by Florence Kingsford Cockerell and Anastasia "Annie" Power.
Front board slightly bowed, as often with vellum, tissue guards a little foxed; else a fine copy.
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