IONICA.

(London and Orpington: George Allen, 1891). 168 x 102 mm. (6 5/8 x 4"). viii, 209, [1] pp., [1] leaf. Second Edition.

Contemporary brown crushed morocco by Spottiswoode & Co. (stamp-signed on front turn-ins), raised bands, gilt titling, gilt-ruled turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Front flyleaf inscribed in ink: "G. V. Campbell / from H. Brinton. / on leaving Eton. / Dec. 1902." Small dark spot to front cover, a half dozen tiny spots of foxing to opening leaves, otherwise a fine copy, with no signs of use.

Everything about this memento evokes Eton: a collection of poems by a beloved and influential Eton master, in a suitably masculine binding of very plain, but very fine, leather. Educated at Eton and at Kings College, Cambridge, William Johnson Cory (1823-92) was a passionate teacher and education reformer, as well as a poet. In his view, "you go to a great school not so much for knowledge as for arts and habits; for the habit of attention, for the art of expression, for the art of assuming at a moment's notice a new intellectual position, for the art of entering quickly into another person's thoughts, for the habit of submitting to censure and refutation, for the art of indicating assent or dissent in graduated terms, for the habit of regarding minute points of accuracy, for the art of working out what is possible in a given time, for taste, for discrimination, for mental courage, and for mental soberness." The poems collected here were first published, anonymously, in 1858 and 1877. The title gave a hint to the author's identity: Johnson Cory's nickname among his pupils was "Ionicus."
(ST13075c)

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IONICA. WILLIAM JOHNSON CORY.
IONICA.

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