(Stratford-upon-Avon: Shakespeare Head Press, 1930). 293 x 204 mm. (11 1/2 x 8"). xxvii, , 145 pp.Edited and with an Introduction by R. Crompton Rhodes. ONE OF 475 COPIES (450 of which were for sale).
ORNAMENTAL MODERN DARK BROWN CRUSHED MOROCCO, GILT AND ONLAID, BY ANDRÉE M. CLARKE (stamp-signed on rear turn-in), covers with geometric design formed by thin gilt fillets, red, green, or ivory morocco onlays to six of these shapes, smooth spine with vertical gilt titling, gilt-ruled turn-ins with red or green morocco circles onlaid at corners, marbled endpapers, edges untrimmed. Housed in a tan morocco-backed linen clamshell box, red morocco label on the back. With title page vignette, headpieces, and quarter panel illustrations by Thomas Lowinsky. Half title with embossed stamp of Andrée M. Clarke. Franklin, p. 236; Ransom, p. 17. A couple of faint marginal smudges or tiny spots, but a very fine, fresh copy in an unworn binding.
Offered here in an attractive binding by a talented amateur, this is a very pleasing large-format item produced precisely in the middle of the 20-year period during which Franklin says that Shakespeare Head was "the most mature and sophisticated of the private presses." Founded in 1904 by A. H. Bullen, the Shakespeare Head Press was taken over, upon Bullen's death in 1920, by Basil Blackwell and his partner. Bernard Newdigate was engaged as designer for the press, and for the next two decades Shakespeare Head became a leading producer of English privately printed books. First printed in 1777, this play attacking sentimentalism and scandal-mongers is called by Hazlitt "perhaps the most finished and faultless comedy which we have," and Day praises its "verbal ingenuity and sparkling prose." It is one of the few 18th century plays that remains popular to the present day. As DNB observes, Sheridan's "comic invention exposes folly and hypocrisy through dramatic crises in a timeless way, and this has meant the plays remain alive." After a brilliant career as playwright and theatrical manager at Drury Lane, Sheridan (1751-1816) occupied a major place in the political landscape of the day in Parliament and later as Undersecretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury. Day tells us that he "was an intimate of the Prince of Wales, even composing the love letters dispatched by his royal highness." Born in French Indochina, binder Andrée M. Clarke lived in France and in New York City, where she studied French-style binding with master bookbinders Catherine Stanescu and Deborah Evetts. (ST15522)
Add to Cart Price: $1,950.00
PJP Catalog: FinePress.044