(Hammersmith: Doves Press, 1911). 235 x 165 mm. (9 1/4 x 6 1/2"). 230 pp.,  leaf. ONE OF 200 COPIES ON PAPER (and 12 on vellum).
RUSSET CRUSHED MOROCCO BY THE DOVES BINDERY (stamp-signed and dated 1912 on rear turn-in), covers with simple gilt fillet border, raised bands, gilt-ruled compartments, gilt titling, turn-ins with two gilt rules, all edges gilt, with two rows of gauffered dots. Printed in red and black. Front pastedown with bookplate of Haven O'More of The Garden Ltd. Tidcombe DP-25; Tomkinson, p. 56. Spine gently sunned, leather with (naturally occurring) variations in hue, covers with a score of tiny dark spots, but the binding showing no signs of wear. A few trivial imperfections in the text, but a fine copy internally, clean, fresh, and bright.
An excellent example of the fine printing and fine binding produced under the aegis of T. J. Cobden-Sanderson, this is a Doves Press book highly sought after both because of its limited press run and its content, which Cobden-Sanderson greatly admired for its "cosmic" quality. Tidcombe tells us that in the present anthology, the publisher "selected the poems to build one great poem, as Wordsworth himself had intended." As Cobden-Sanderson says, the verses begin and end with Nature, being linked together "in one chain of emotion, rising and falling, expanding and contracting, as is the manner of emotion itself." Perceiving in Wordsworth's works a recourse from the violence of the world, Cobden-Sanderson sent a copy of this book to his old friend Bertrand Russell, who had been imprisoned for his pacifist pronouncements during the Great War. Our copy comes from the Garden Collection, assembled by Haven O'More with funding from Michael Davis, which was the most outstanding library of notable books put together in America in the second half of the 20th century. When it was auctioned by Sotheby's in 1989, the sale brought in $16.2 million. The library included high spots from all periods (the four Shakespeare folios, the first of "Don Quixote," and Blake's "Songs of Innocence and Experience" brought in more than $5 million alone), and the collection was breathtaking in its impeccable condition. Our binding has a simple and refined elegance that is entirely pleasing in itself and that matches the style of the restrained typographical display in the text. (ST15910)
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PJP Catalog: RBMS21.027