(London: Hacon & Ricketts, 1897). 235 x 148 mm. (9 1/4 x 5 3/4"). ci,  pp.,  leaf (colophon, limitation). ONE OF 210 COPIES.
Original maroon patterned paper boards, gray paper spine, printed label, untrimmed and ENTIRELY UNOPENED. Elaborate woodcut vine border on first page of text as well as fine decorative woodcut initials by Charles Ricketts. Tomkinson, p. 165. Corners rubbed to boards, edges and head and tail of spine a little worn, label chipped in a few places, edges of text block just slightly toned, but THE CONTENTS PRISTINE, the pages crisp, fresh, and showing no signs of use.
This is a beautifully printed, never-read private press edition of poetry by an almost exact contemporary of Shakespeare. Constable (1562-1613 vs. 1564-1616), was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the greatest of all lyric poets. He produced a sequence of 23 sonnets called "Diana" in 1592 (later augmented) as well as some highly regarded pastoral verse in "England's Helicon," published in 1600. He also wrote a number of intensely religious sonnets, which remained in manuscript until the 19th century. The present item contains representative samples of these various categories of his work in a limited edition, handsomely printed format.
The Vale Press books, which Cave says were "far truer to the spirit of fifteenth-century printing than Kelmscott work," included nearly 50 titles issued during the eight-year life of the press (beginning in 1894), and both its impressive output and considerable artistic success can be attributed to the fact that Charles Ricketts (1866-1931), who was remarkably skilled as a designer, painter, and illustrator, was in control of every facet of the operation. (ST13354)
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PJP Catalog: CA21VBF.045