(London: William Pickering, 1878). 180 x 115 mm. (7 x 4 1/2"). xi, 222 pp. FIRST EDITION.
Attractive late 19th century brown crushed morocco, gilt, covers framed by plain and decorative rules, raised bands, spine compartments with central star ornament, gilt titling, turn-ins with multiple plain and decorative rules, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Printer's device on title page. Front pastedown with pictorial copper-engraved bookplate of "J. J. H." by W. F. Hopson, dated 1898 (see below); front flyleaf with pencilled note, "May 1, 1880." A breath of rubbing to extremities, a touch of yellowing to edges of leaves, otherwise A VERY FINE COPY, with few signs of use inside or out.
This is a handsome copy of the first work of Scottish poet F. Wyville Home (b. 1851), which anthologist Alfred Henry Miles tells us "was received with expressions of commendation such as seldom greet the appearance of an initial volume." However, "The Spectator," his "uncommon gift of melody," feared the "deadly mischief" of poems like "Art and the Creeds" and Nature and the Creeds" that extol the virtues of the Arts and Sciences over faith and religion. Home published two more volumes of verse and provided the lyrics for several choral works before fading from view in the early 20th century. The excellent binding here is unsigned, but is clearly the work of an accomplished craftsman. The bookplate is by an American engraver, which may indicate an American provenance and binding. A catalogue of the bookplates by William Fowler Hopson (1849-1935) does not give us the identity of "J. H. H." Hopson did belong to the Grolier Club, whose members also included publisher J. Henry Harper; the binding and condition here certainly suggest the ownership of a discerning bibliophile. (ST13075d)