(London: Edward Moxon, 1846). 170 x 100 mm. (6 3/4 x 4 1/8"). Two volumes. Fourth Edition.
ESPECIALLY PRETTY MOSS GREEN CRUSHED MOROCCO BY FLORENCE PAGET (stamp-signed "F. P. 1907" on rear turn-in), covers with delicate gilt frame of tulips and daisies on curling stems, floral spray cornerpieces, raised bands, spine panels with gilt daisy bouquets, gilt lettering, pastedowns framed with gilt fillets, floral spray cornerpieces, all edges gilt. Wise 15. Spines faintly and evenly sunned, tiny scuff to head edge of one spine, endpapers a little foxed and with the usual offsetting from morocco turn-ins, isolated trivial marginal foxing or smudges, other insignificant imperfections, but A VERY FINE SET, clean and fresh internally in a virtually unworn binding.
This collection of verse from the poet laureate's early career was attractively bound by Florence Paget, one of a small group of distinguished female binders at work in England at the turn of the century and a binder Tidcombe praises for the "pleasing appropriateness" of her work. An early pupil of master binder Douglas Cockerell, Paget exhibited at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1899 and 1900. Among other distinctions, she was chosen (along with Katharine Adams and Alice Pattinson) to bind copies of the Ashendene Press "Song of Songs," the illuminated book printed on vellum that stands as one of the greatest achievements of the modern private press movement. She also had the honor of binding the Form and Order of Service used by King Edward VII at his 1902 Coronation, now in the Royal Collection. She continued binding books at Farnham in Sussex until at least 1907. When the original edition of these "Poems" appeared in 1842, it marked the first appearance of a volume of poetry from Tennyson (1809-92) since the death of his dear friend, Arthur Hallam (the subject of "In Memoriam"), in 1832; according to Thomson, it cemented Tennyson's "place as the leading poet of his generation." The first volume contains poems that had appeared in his 1830 and 1832 books, some considerably revised, while the second volume presents poems written in the intervening years. Our fourth edition is of more interest than the second and third because it includes a new poem written since 1842, "The Golden Years." Volumes bound by Paget are uncommon in the marketplace. (ST16999)