The noble and joyous book entytled Le Morte Darthur:
Notwythstondying it treateth of the byrth, lyf, and actes of sayd Kyng Arthur, of his noble knyghts of the Rounde Table …Chelsea, Ashendene Press, 1913 Stock Code: 139511
NotesFirst Ashendene edition, one of 145 unnumbered copies printed on Batchelor handmade paper; a further two copies were printed on Japanese paper and eight on vellum. The Ashendene Press, described as "the zenith of superb bookmaking", was founded by St John Hornby in 1895 and continued to print steadily until 1935 (Ransome, p. 95). The present edition, "a splendid Ashendene folio", was one of its most ambitious and prized publications (Franklin, p. 57). Malory's Morte Darthur "is the only true English 'epic'; its matter is 'the Matter of England'. The matchless style, the humour, the magnificence, the magic that takes away the breath, combine in a masterpiece of legendary narrative" (PMM).
Folio. Bound for the publisher by W. H. Smith in brown calf, spine lettered in gilt, boards and turn-ins ruled in gilt, edges untrimmed.
With 2 full-page and 27 smaller woodcuts by W. H. Hooper and J. B. Swain after designs by Charles M. Gere and his sister Margaret Gere. Initial letters by Graily Hewitt in red and blue; rubricated chapter headings and shoulder-notes.
Rubbing to extremities, faint marks and a couple of spots of darkening to leather to covers, faint offsetting to endpapers from turn-ins, contents clean and fresh, text notably crisp; a near-fine copy.
Ashendene XXVI; Franklin, p. 224; Printing and the Mind of Man 29; Ransome, Ashendene 28.
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