Chaucer, Geoffrey - The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer now newly imprinted Facsimile of the Kelmscott Press edition - ( Item 123513 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2008. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Near Fine slipcase. Slight marks to panels of slipcase. Bound in buckram, blocked with a design by William Morris. Paper specially commissioned from James Cropper, a small mill in the Lake District, England. Gilded top edge, ribbon marker. Presented in a gold blocked slipcase. 568 pages. 16¾" x 11½". The book for which William Morris had such high hopes was The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. Published in 1896 at Morris's Kelmscott Press, it was immediately hailed as a masterpiece of book production the finest publication to emerge from the Arts and Crafts movement and universally acclaimed as the zenith of private press publishing. The Kelmscott Chaucer, as it has become known, represents the pinnacle of Morris's career as a typographer and designer. The medieval style 'Chaucer' fount, lavish ornamental borders, decorative capitals and frames he created, combined with the stunning woodcut illustrations of Edward Burne-Jones, provide an exquisite setting for the poetic works of Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales, Troilus and Criseyde, The Parliament of Fowls, The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Romaunt of the Rose. In fact, Morris's masterpiece is even more exquisite than the 15th and 16th- century editions he so admired. The Kelmscott Chaucer did much more than revive an antique style of bookmaking; it fulfilled Morris's vision of what could be achieved through a combination of modern printing techniques and traditional crafts. According to Morris, Chaucer was 'the most genial and humourful healthy-souled man that England had ever seen'. With the founding of the Kelmscott Press in 1890, Morris could realise the dream he had nursed since his student days of producing a volume worthy of his hero. Few publishers would have indulged in such a labour of love. The work began in 1892 and continued steadily for four years, as Morris, his co-editor F. S. Ellis and the famous pre-Raphaelite painter Burne-Jones strove for perfection in every detail, from selecting the most suitable inks and paper tousing the most authoritative Chaucerian text available, the Oxford edition of 1894. Burne-Jones's contribution to the volume cannot be overstated his 87 designs were a far cry from the stilted woodcuts of previous editions, even though he preferred not to illustrate scenes from the 'racier' episodes of The Canterbury Tales. Morris died in October 1896, but not before the publication of The Kelmscott Chaucer, considered by many to be his greatest achievement and certainly the work which was closest to Morris's heart. In this fine edition, Morris's great work has been re-presented in an exact facsimile on beautiful laid paper with gilded top edges, whilst the sturdy buckram binding is richly blocked with one of Morris's designs. With an original first edition of The Kelmscott Chaucer selling in New York for $160,000 lin 2010, this Folio Society Fine Edition facsimile represents an opportunity to own this superb facsimile at a very reasonable price.
Price £ 265.00 Other items you may like Others by the same author
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