([Hamden, Conn.]: Appledore Press, 1882). 228 x 150 mm. (9 x 5 7/8"). xvi, , 187,  pp. FIRST EDITION, No. 218 OF 225 COPIES signed by the author.
VERY ATTRACTIVE GREEN MOROCCO, GILT IN THE ARTS & CRAFTS STYLE, BY "B. C. D." (stamp-signed and dated 1902 on front turn-in), upper cover with wide gilt-tooled frame of interlocking heart-shaped sections filled with pomegranates, leaves, and berries on a stippled background, central panel with simple gilt-ruled frame with lettering at head and foot, lower cover with gilt-ruled frame, pomegranate cornerpieces, raised bands, spine compartments tooled with intertwining branches of leaves, turn-ins with clusters of gilt pomegranates at corners, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. A Large Paper Copy. Front pastedown with engraved bookplate of George Abraham Crawley by George Eve; rear flyleaf with three clippings (reviews and booksellers' ads) pasted on. Ransom, p. 200; Yale University Check List of the Appledore Private Press 11. Spine with a hint of overall even fading, bottom corners a bit worn, one faint marginal smudge, but still A FINE COPY, internally clean, fresh, and smooth, with vast margins, in a lustrous binding with only trivial wear.
This is a charming, animated, and well-executed binding that covers a fine production to come out of the American Arts & Crafts movement. The volume features a collection of lesser-known poems from great English poets, printed at William J. Linton's one-man private press in Connecticut. An accomplished wood-engraver in England--he was the master with whom Walter Crane served his apprenticeship--Linton (1812-97) moved to the United States in his 50s, partly due to financial problems and partly for political reasons. An anti-monarchist republican who believed in universal suffrage, Linton found the U.S. far more to his liking than Victorian England. According to DNB, "his artistic and literary reputation secured election to the Century Club, . . . [where] he was honoured by the high-minded liberal intellectuals of New England society as an authentic voice of European radicalism." Linton purchased Appledore, a house near New Haven, Connecticut, in 1870, and the following year he purchased a printing press with the proceeds he received from selling his home in England (to John Ruskin). He began his life as a printer by issuing political polemics, but then turned to poetry, producing several volumes of English and American verse. DNB notes that the present work displays "an exceptional knowledge for this period of the metaphysical poets." Our volume includes poems by Sir Philip Sidney, John Donne, Michael Drayton, Ben Jonson, Robert Herrick, and others that were usually omitted from anthologies and that were deserving, in Linton's opinion, of a wider distribution. We have been unable to determine the identity of binder "B. C. D.," but it seems likely that (s)he resided in New York or New England, and had studied bookbinding in an English workshop or school. The design and the tools used here are reminiscent of English Arts & Crafts binders, and it is easy to see the strong influence of Cobden-Sanderson in both. Former owner George Crawley (1864-1926) was a designer best known for his work on Westbury House, the Long Island country estate of U. S. Steel heir John Shaffer Phipps. He promoted a British aesthetic among New York's elite. (ST15717)
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PJP Catalog: ABAAvfMay20.009