(London: De La More Press, 1904). 172 x 94 mm. (6 3/4 x 3 3/4"). 2 p.l., xvii, , 69 pp.Translated from the Persian by Edward FitzGerald.
PRETTY MOSS GREEN CRUSHED MOROCCO, GILT, BY BUMPUS (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with double gilt rule border, upper cover with tall gilt rose topiary bearing seven blossoms, this springing from a small inlaid morocco heart, raised bands, spine panels with gilt rose-and-heart centerpiece, gilt titling, turn-ins with gilt French fillet, top edge gilt. With frontispiece printed in red and 12 black & white plates by B. McManus. Front free endpaper inscribed in ink: "Daisy / from Di / June 1904." Not in Ransom or Tomkinson. Spine very lightly sunned, occasional faint foxing, but A FINE COPY, clean and fresh in an unworn, lustrous binding.
This is a very pleasing private press edition of a Persian poem, with attractive illustrations and a fine binding. First printed in English in 1856, "Salámán and Absál" is a narrative poem in which the hero rejects the snare of the senses personified by the lovely Absál, opting instead to move on the path toward Sufi enlightenment. The story is enlivened with much exotic and picturesque detail along the way. The translator FitzGerald (1809-93) spent his entire adult life devoted to literature, especially translation; his chief work, of course, is the immensely popular English version of the "Rubaiyat," first published (anonymously) in 1859. The illustrations here are by American artist Blanche McManus (1869–1935), who is primarily known as an illustrator of children's books and the author of several travelogues. The De La More Press was founded by Alexander Moring in 1895, and, while not in the first rank with Ashendene, Kelmscott, and Doves, it nevertheless produced handsome, high quality books. Bumpus bindings were done for the bookselling firm of John and Edward Bumpus, founded in 1780, and the Bumpus name still held an honored place among London binderies well into the 20th century. The binding design here shows the influence of the Art Nouveau, and its delicate romanticism is appropriate for the contents. (ST15783)