(Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1894). 148 x 105 mm. (6 x 4 1/4"). 2 p.l., 67 pp. ONE OF 500 COPIES on paper (there were also 15 copies on vellum).
Publisher's holland-backed blue boards, black titling on upper cover. Woodcut decorative initials, title opening with elaborate full woodcut border. Printed in red and black on handmade paper in Chaucer type. Front pastedown with book label of Laurence Hodson, printed for him at the Kelmscott Press. Peterson A-23; Sparling, p. 157; Forman 151. A couple of small, faint spots to lower board, otherwise A SPLENDID COPY, clean and bright with no signs of wear, inside or out.
One of the most charming of Kelmscott items, this is an outstanding copy of a Medieval tale in small format, translated by Morris (as was "King Florus," "Emperor Coustans," and "Over Sea") from "Nouvelles Françoises en Prose du XIIIe siècle" (Paris, 1856). The devoted friendship of knights Amis and Amile is proven by the sacrifices they make for one another. Amis perjures himself to save Amile, and is cursed with leprosy for this sin. When Amile learns that Amis can be cured by bathing in the blood of Amile's children, he kills his offspring. Happily, the murdered children are restored to life in recognition of Amile's devotion to his friend. Wealthy collector and philanthropist Laurence Hodson was perhaps an unlikely champion of the socialist Arts & Crafts Movement, but he was a good friend to Morris as well as a major client. Copies of this work in original boards appear with regularity, but the fragile binding is usually soiled, with fraying or tears to the holland spine. Books from Hodson's library are noted for their uniformly fine condition, and our volume is an excellent illustration of the difference a diligent guardian can make in terms of condition. (CJW1801)
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PJP Catalog: NY20BF.070