The Tale of Beowulf.Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1895 Stock Code: 138925
NotesFirst Kelmscott edition, and the first edition of William Morris's translation, one of 300 copies printed on paper (a further eight copies were issued on vellum). Morris began his translation of the great English epic in 1893, based on a prose rendering by the Anglo-Saxon scholar Alfred J. Wyatt of Christ's College, with whom he consulted over a two year period. Beowulf had particular resonance for Morris: he called the poem "the first and the best poem of the English race", with "no author but the people" (cited in Peterson). The borders, designed by Morris, were used in only one other Kelmscott publication, The Life and Death of Jason, published six months later.
Large quarto. Original limp vellum, spine lettered in gilt, with brown silk ties. Housed in a black cloth flat-back box by the Chelsea Bindery.
Printed on Batchelor paper in black and red in Troy and Chaucer types. Decorative woodcut title, borders, and initials.
As often, rear ties gone, front ties partly gone, with three long fragments loosely inserted. Light toning and soiling to spine, minor cockling and bowing to covers, yet overall in very nice condition; contents clean and fresh.
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