London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1909. First Edition. Leather. First Complete Edition, twelvemo size, 660 pp., in a custom binding by Morrell. Near Fine. Item #16080601
Francis Turner Palgrave (1824-1897), a lifelong friend of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, (1809-1892), who served for a time as professor of poetry at Oxford University, is remembered more today for his literary criticism than for his writings. "The Golden Treasury", which was first published in 1861 (and which excluded all poets then living), was "an anthology of the best poetry in the language constructed upon a plan sound and spacious, and followed out with a delicacy of feeling which could scarcely be surpassed" (n.b., quote from Wiki).
A second series of the "Golden Treasury" was published in 1897, with the compilation of the two being this volume, published in 1909. This book contains the author's Prefaces to both the First and Second Series, with the Second Series being dedicated to Lord Tennyson (who had passed away five years previously): "To the Memory of Alfred Lord Tennyson....In Gratitude for His Invariably Faithful Friendship and Counsel Through Forty Years and More, This Book is Sadly and Affectionately Dedicated".
This volume in a spectacular custom binding by Morrell, with an intricate scrolled medallion on the front board with a red center and elaborate gilt borders on both boards. Per Prideaux, in "Modern Bookbindings" (1906), "[t]he London bindery of W. T. Morrell was established c. 1861 as successor to the firm begun by Francis Bedford, who, in turn, had taken over the famous bindery of Charles Lewis...Morrell at that time had a very large business that supplied 'all the booksellers with bindings designed by his men,' with bindings that were 'remarkable for their variety and merit'." (n.b., from a blog article "More Magnificent Bindings, Bound To Be Great" by Stephen J. Gertz, published October 26, 2011)
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full green leather, custom design "by Morrell for Ernest D. North" (on the front turn-in) with an ornate gilt scrolled medallion on the front board with its center in red, elaborate decorative borders on both boards, spine heavily decorated in gilt with title and year of publication, double-sewn endbands in gold, red and green, all edges gilt, triple narrow-ruled gilt borders on the turn-ins, marbled endpapers in shades of green, gray and light blue, tasteful prior owner bookplate on the first flyleaf, delicate publisher's device on the title page which is tissue-guarded, original green ribbon marker; twelvemo size (7.25" by 5"), pagination: [i-v] vi-xii,  2-648.
___CONDITION: Volume is near fine, the leather smooth and supple, clean and free of marks, straight corners with minimal rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and other than the Ex-Libris plate mentioned above entirely free of prior owner markings; the spine has mellowed to brown, the tops of both joints just beginning to crack but both boards holding firmly, a modicum of rubbing to the bottom edges of the boards, with one small indentation to the bottom edge of the back board. Overall a lovely copy both inside and out, in an intricate Morrell binding.
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