London: Hodder and Stoughton Limited, 1925. Hollyer, Frederick. First Edition. Hardcover. Two volumes, octavo size, 713 pp. Good + / good. Item #18042504
An illustrative account of the years leading up the the Great War, by English author, countryman and politician Viscount Grey of Fallodon (Edward Grey 1862-1933). This and Grey's other well-known work "The Charm of Birds" were written toward the end of his life, despite ill-health and failing vision, with help and encouragement from his new wife Pamela Genevieve Adelaide Tennant (Lady Glenconner). He was involved in politics at the highest level, and was sent as an ambassador to the U.S. in 1919 to pursuade the Senate to join the League of Nations. His two famous works represent the two conflicting interests that dominated Grey's life: his devotion to the "real" world politics of his professional life, and the observation of the natural world and ornithology, which juxtaposition places him in a unique position among his contemporaries.
The exceptional portraits of Grey in these volumes were taken by Frederick Hollyer (1838-1933) and Hugh Cecil (1890-1974), and prepared as gravures for these volumes by Emery Walker (1851-1933). Walker was a prominent English process engraver and typographer, and a central figure in the Arts and Crafts movement. He was a friend of William Morris, and founded the Doves Press shortly after Morris' death in 1896 with T.J. Cobden-Sanderson. Walker supervised the design of the famous Doves typeface, used in all the Press's publications; sadly the famous type ended up at the bottom of the Themes after the founders fell out in 1906. Walker continued working with many famous private presses until his death, and was knighted in 1930.
___DESCRIPTION: Original blue cloth covered boards with the arms of Viscount Grey, with his motto, in gilt on the front boards, each volume with a different tissue-guarded photogravure portrait of the author, fifteen black and white plates; octavo size (9.5" by 6.5"), pagination: Volume I., [i-vi] vii-xxx 1-342; and Volume II., [i-iv] v-ix [x-xii] 1-329, the first edition. In the original dust jackets, printing on the front panels and spines only, the front with a wide black border, the price printed on the spines.
___CONDITION: Almost very good, internally bright and complete, plates are clean, text blocks are straight though foxed at edges, prior owner stamps to upper endpapers, covers are clean with bright gilt, joints are strong; the edges and corners have some rubbing and fraying, some wear including a few short splits to the cloth to the head and tails of the spines, some loss to the tail of the spine of Volume I. The dust jackets are good only, still in one piece, though they suffer from some chipping and soiling (none of which greatly obscure text) and several tears to the spine of Volume I; overall, both volumes almost very good, in good jackets.
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