Large Paper Copy, Finely Bound, Unopened
(BINDINGS - BUMPUS). SWINBURNE, ALGERNON CHARLES.
THE TRAGEDIES.(London: Chatto & Windus, 1905). 229 x 149 mm (9 x 5 7/8"). Five volumes.. FIRST COLLECTED EDITION. ONE OF 110 LARGE PAPER COPIES. (This is copy #6.).
ESPECIALLY FINE CONTEMPORARY BURGUNDY CRUSHED MOROCCO BY BUMPUS (signed on front turn-in), covers and board edges with double gilt rule, spines very attractively and densely gilt in compartments filled with massed stippled volutes enclosing a quatrefoil at center, elegant inner gilt dentelles, top edge gilt, other edges rough trimmed. ENTIRELY UNOPENED. Photogravure frontispiece portrait in final volume. Titles printed in red and black. Wise III, 2; Ashley Library VII, 69-70. One spine just barely darker than the others, a couple of mild corner bumps, otherwise A BEAUTIFULLY BOUND SET IN SPLENDID CONDITION.
Swinburne (1837-1909) was a virtuoso of verse, able to produce dazzling and enthralling lines in a wide range of meters and stanzaic forms. He was also a shocking pagan in terms of the content of his poetry, a significant portion of which was erotic. Though he was dismissed from Oxford for disciplinary reasons, he formed important friendships there with Ruskin, Tennyson, Morris, Rossetti, and Burne-Jones. In addition to verse, Swinburne penned enough tragedies to fill these five volumes, perhaps the best of which is "Chastelard," in which the title character falls desperately in love with Mary Queen of Scots, follows her to Scotland, is discovered in her room, and is executed. Swinburne's fascination with the tragic queen continues in the plays "Mary Stuart" and "Bothwell." Other dramas in the present set include his first published works, "The Queen-Mother" and "Rosamond," and the shorter tragedies "Locrine," "The Sisters," and "Mario Faliero." Our remarkably appealing bindings are typical of the classically designed, well-executed, and generally undervalued work produced under the Bumpus name for a substantial period, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. Packer says that the Bumpus bindings emanated from the bookselling firm of John and Edward Bumpus, which was founded in 1780, and the Bumpus name still held an honored place among London binderies well into the 20th century. (ST11462a-188)