THE FLOURE AND THE LEAFE, & THE BOKE OF CUPIDE, GOD OF LOVE, OR THE CUCKOW AND THE NIGHTINGALE.

(Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896). 240 x 165 mm. (9 3/8 x 6 1/2"). 1 p.l., 47 pp. Edited by F. S. Ellis. ONE OF 300 COPIES on paper (and 10 on vellum).

ANIMATED DARK GREEN MOROCCO, GILT, BY MARY E. BULKLEY (stamp-signed "M E B 1902" on rear turn-in), covers with rows of gilt daisies, those on alternating rows surrounded by a wreath of leaves, corners with three large dots and cascading leaves, raised bands, spine compartments with vertical branch bearing many small leaves, gilt titling, gilt-ruled turn-ins with dots and leaves at corners, all edges gilt. In a recent tan morocco-backed clamshell box. Each of the stories with elaborate woodcut opening word, printer's device in colophon. Printed in red and black Troy type, with the colophon in the Chaucer type. Peterson A-43; Sparling 43; Tomkinson, p. 118. For the binding: Tidcombe, "Women Bookbinders," p. 186. A touch of rubbing to ends of spine, otherwise A VERY FINE COPY, spotless internally, in an extremely well-preserved binding glistening with gold.

This very handsome Kelmscott printing of two Middle English poems comes in a binding appropriately covered in flowers and leaves by an American woman who had her own bindery in Missouri. The present example of the work of Mary Ezit Bulkley (1856-1947) was produced the same year she served as a juror for bookbindings from around the world at the St. Louis World's Fair. In a 1904 article in "The Book Lover," Bulkley expresses her admiration for T. J. Cobden-Sanderson and other English binders, and their influence can be seen here. The flowers on the covers are not stamp tools; they were created petal by petal around a circlet, giving them a charming and realistic variation in shape. In her article in "The Book Lover," Bulkley voices optimism about the growing market for hand bookbinding in the United States, and the rising standards of expertise among American binders, more and more of whom were women. After her desire to attend Vassar was thwarted by her father's bad investments, Bulkley studied design at Cooper Union, and became interested in bookbinding while chaperoning young ladies on a tour of Italy. On her return to the States, she went to Chicago to train in the craft with Ellen Gates Starr, who had herself studied with Cobden-Sanderson. She was an ardent suffragist, working tirelessly to win the vote for women in her state and writing manuals for voters. Bulkley operated her Hillside Bindery in St. Louis for 15 years before moving to California to improve her health in 1920. Her bindings are rare in the marketplace; RBH records one on another Kelmscott title, elaborately gilt-tooled and signed with her initials, that sold in 1911, and one signed "Hillside Bindery" that sold in 1917.

For many years attributed to Chaucer, "The Flower and the Leaf" is written in a woman's voice, but the author remains unknown. It first appeared in print in a 1598 edition of Chaucer's works, and was praised by Dryden, Pope, and Hazlitt. The Cambridge History of English Literature proclaims, "There is a singular brightness and freshness over it all, together with a power of pre-Raphaelite decoration and of vivid portraiture—even of such action as there is—which is very rare. Indeed, out of Chaucer himself and the original beginning of Guillaume de Lorris in the Roman de la Rose, it would be difficult to find anything of the kind better done." The second work ends with the words "Explicit Clanvow," and a note in the colophon explains, "It has been pointed out by the Rev. Professor Skeat, in 'The Academy,' May 2, 1896, p. 365, that the words 'Explicit Clanvowe' which occur in the MS . . . clearly refer to the author of the poem, Sir Thomas Clanvowe. He has further shown that the date is about 1405-10, and that 'the queen' is Joan of Navarre, who held Woodstock manor." DNB, however, asserts that the poem is the sole extant work of Sir John Clanvow ca. (1341-91), and praises the "dream vision incorporating a debate about the nature of love" as "an ingenious and accomplished poem."
(ST17263-09)

Keywords: Kelmscott Press

Add to Cart Price: $7,500.00

PJP Catalog: 80.004

THE FLOURE AND THE LEAFE, & THE BOKE OF CUPIDE, GOD OF LOVE, OR THE CUCKOW AND THE NIGHTINGALE. KELMSCOTT PRESS, SIR THOMAS CLANVOWE.
THE FLOURE AND THE LEAFE, & THE BOKE OF CUPIDE, GOD OF LOVE, OR THE CUCKOW AND THE NIGHTINGALE.
THE FLOURE AND THE LEAFE, & THE BOKE OF CUPIDE, GOD OF LOVE, OR THE CUCKOW AND THE NIGHTINGALE.
THE FLOURE AND THE LEAFE, & THE BOKE OF CUPIDE, GOD OF LOVE, OR THE CUCKOW AND THE NIGHTINGALE.
THE FLOURE AND THE LEAFE, & THE BOKE OF CUPIDE, GOD OF LOVE, OR THE CUCKOW AND THE NIGHTINGALE.
THE FLOURE AND THE LEAFE, & THE BOKE OF CUPIDE, GOD OF LOVE, OR THE CUCKOW AND THE NIGHTINGALE.
THE FLOURE AND THE LEAFE, & THE BOKE OF CUPIDE, GOD OF LOVE, OR THE CUCKOW AND THE NIGHTINGALE.
THE FLOURE AND THE LEAFE, & THE BOKE OF CUPIDE, GOD OF LOVE, OR THE CUCKOW AND THE NIGHTINGALE.