(London: W. and W. Strahan, 1768). 290 x 220 mm. (11 3/8 x 9"). xxxvi, 462 pp.Translated by John Hawkesworth. First Edition of this Translation.
Contemporary calf, boards with blind-ruled border, rebacked in olive brown morocco, raised bands, gilt-ruled compartments red morocco label. Engraved head- and tailpieces by C. Grignion. Front pastedown with ink inscription of Emery Walker and pencilled inscription in the same hand reading, "Bought at this fair from Wm. Allen bookseller in his Euston Rd shop on the Portland Road Station near corner of Osnaburgh St in the year 1875 (or thereabouts)"; engraved armorial bookplate of John Cornwall. ESTC T144205 Extremities a bit worn, with some leather chipping off, boards with several abrasions, but the restored binding sound. Occasional mild foxing or faint offsetting from engravings, but a fine copy internally, clean and crisp with comfortable margins.
From the library of a key figure in the private press movement, this is an attractively printed translation of Fenelon's utopian work based on the character in Homer's "Odyssey." Written when Fénelon (1651-1715) was tutor to Louis XIV's grandson, the book was designed to give the future ruler more farsighted political, social, and economic ideas than he might otherwise have met with. Our copy was once owned by engraver, printer, typographer, and designer Emery Walker (1851-1933). England. It is not overreaching to say that the private press movement would not exist were it not for Walker's influence. He was a silent partner in the Kelmscott Press, he was a co-founder of the Doves Press, and he, along with Sydney Cockerell, guided St John Hornby in choosing the Subiaco type for the Ashendene Press. Together these three are the foundation of all private presses. Walker's small, cramped handwriting in the inscription on our book belies the beautifully designed pages and letterforms of his professional work. He bought this copy in 1875 "(or thereabouts)" and perhaps the crisp printing and spacious layout appealed to his own developing aesthetic. (ST14525)
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