A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES.
(London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1902). 146 x 92 mm. (5 3/4 x 3 5/8"). x, 101 pp.
VERY PRETTY CRIMSON STRAIGHT-GRAIN MOROCCO BY EUPHEMIA BAKEWELL (stamp-signed "19 - E B - 04" on rear turn-in), covers with double gilt fillet rules, wide border tooled with tulips and dots, central panel with closed gilt dots at corners and along perimeter, raised bands, spine compartments with similar tulip and dot design, turn-ins with gilt rules and foliate cornerpieces, all edges gilt and gauffered with lines of dots. In a fine marbled paper clamshell box backed with burgundy linen, paper label on spine. ◆Spine evenly darkened, with a tiny snag near head of front joint, a touch of rubbing to extremities, but a very nearly fine copy, clean and fresh internally with few signs of use, and its lustrous, handsome binding bright with gilt.
This is a lovely binding in the style of T. J. Cobden-Sanderson by a noted American female artisan, here covering a later edition of Stevenson's perennially popular children's book, first published in 1885. From a prominent family of glassmakers in Sewickley (near Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania, Euphemia Bakewell (1871-1921) studied bookbinding with New York City-based Emily Preston, a pupil of Cobden-Sanderson. In 1902, she made the pilgrimage to England and worked at the Doves Bindery for the one year's tutelage Cobden-Sanderson required of students. Soon thereafter, she went to Paris where she continued her studies with Jules Domont. She signed her bindings, as here, in the manner of Cobden-Sanderson and the Doves Bindery. Her life and experiences while living in England and pursuing the study of bookbinding are told through a series of letters dated 1902-05, now held by the Heinz History Center at University of Pittsburgh. When her eyesight began to fail ca. 1907 she was compelled to cease binding work but taught a small group of American women the craft. In Day's opinion, "A Child’s Garden of Verses" "may be the best children's poetry in English. It avoids the usual pitfalls of this genre: didacticism and condescension . . . [and] it caters beautifully to the conscious joys, imaginative flights, and moodiness of childhood." (ST17263-30)