[East Aurora, New York]: [Roycrofters], . Paine, Anna. Limited Edition. Hardcover. Number 156 of 940 copies, quarto size, 27 pp., signed by author and artist. Near fine. Item #17070309
Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) was the founder of the Roycroft Press, also known as The Roycrofters, closely modelled after William Morris' Kelmscott Press (although the output was quite different). Known as "Fra Elbertus" by the Roycrofters, Hubbard died in the sinking of the ship "Lusitania" in 1915 by a German submarine near the start of WWI. These two short story essays by Hubbard both recount his philosophy of work, which was similar to Morris'; in "Tagaste" he recounts the story of a city, now long lost, which expended itself on a mad rush for a huge quantity of worthless goods - "Tagaste died because she sacrificed her brightest and best in the mad rush to gain wealth by making cheap things that catered to the whims, depraved tastes and foolish tendencies of the worst". He goes on in "A Dream and a Prophecy" (the dream having been "Tagaste") to "prophecy" that "about the year 2001 men began to think, and they saw that to work all day with your head, and never with your hands, failed to bring content". A wonderful lesson to us all, in a lovely fine press version that fulfills Hubbard's dreams of work well done.
___DESCRIPTION: Half brown suede with dark grey paper boards, gilt lettering on the front surrounded by gilt border, leather spine label with gilt lettering, top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges uncut, dark grey endpapers, photogravure frontispiece of Hubbard on tissue, limitation statement on page following title page with the signature of Elbert Hubbard, below which is the illustrator's device with "Illumined by Anna Paine", the two stories each open with a heavily decorated border on the first page, Hubbard's decorative printer's mark at the rear, with original brown ribbon marker; paper with watermark of the Roycrofters, quarto size (10.5" by 8.25"), pagination: [i-vi] -9 [blank] [11-13] 14-21  [colophon]; limited edition, this number 156 of 940, signed by author and artist; small cream card laid in with the following in ink: "Compliments of Taylor & Scott, Mr. Robert Connor".
___CONDITION: Near fine, the binding clean and strong, a square text block with solid hinges, the interior clean and bright, the colours in the illuninations/decorations bright, original ribbon marker present, the sole prior owner marking being the name "R. Connor" in vintage ink at the top of the front free endpaper (presumably the same as on the card); the suede lightly rubbed and a few minor marks to the grey paper boards, else fine.
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