New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, The Knickerbocker Press, 1907. First Edition. Hardcover. Octavo size, 210 pp. Fine / very good. Item #19010810
The designs of Margaret Armstrong (1867-1944), utilising the Art Nouveau style and floral patterns, were a sensation in the publishing business; Armstrong created over 270 book designs, often for the works of well-known authors such as Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, and George Washington Cable. In addition to designing books, Armstrong wrote books as well, including a comprehensive guide to wildflowers in the American West, which she also illustrated.
Best-selling novelist Myrtle Reed (1874-1911) writes of the intimate lives and loves of several well-known literary figures in "Love Affairs of Literary Men"; her subjects include Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley, Samuel Johnson and Esther Thrale, and Edgar Allan Poe and Sarah Whitman. This volume features lovely lavender cloth and Armstrong's signature binding design, inspired by flowers and shapes found in nature, in gilt and white.
___DESCRIPTION: Full lavender cloth, gilt lettering and floral design in white and gilt by Margaret Armstrong with her monogram "MA" on the front board, gilt lettering and decorative ornaments on the spine, top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges rough cut, frontispiece two portraits of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley surrounded by a light green floral pattern, with tissue guard, title page with red ruled borders and floral design in black, text inside black ruled borders with red running heads and marginal text, engraved portraits of the subjects of the book surrounded by light green floral pattern throughout; octavo size (8" by 5.25"), pagination:  [i-ii] iii-vi 1  3-204. In a cream paper dust jacket with title and floral design in lavender, matching the front board of the book, lavender lettering and ornaments on the spine, reviews of Myrtle Reed's books on the rear panel, an ad for a literary magazine on the front flap, and a description of another book by Reed on the rear flap; the dust jacket is unclipped but does not have a printed price. Housed in a slipcase covered in white cloth, with matching lavender floral designs and lettering on the front and rear boards, and a cream paper spine label with lavender lettering.
___CONDITION: A fine copy; the covers clean, the lavender cloth and gilt and white floral design clean and bright, the corners straight, the binding tight with solid hinges, the interior clean and bright, and free of prior owner markings; slight toning to the free endpapers, the barest hint of rubbing to the tail of the spine and to the corners, and a couple stray marks to the rear board, but covers are clean overall. The dust jacket is very good, unclipped, clean overall with slight soiling, with toning to the front and rear panels, spine is sunned and lettering is faded, overall edge wear with some small chips to the top edge, and a loss of 1.5" by 1" to the bottom edge of the front panel. The slipcase is very good, strong and sturdy, overall soiling and edge wear, lavender colours are slightly faded, and there is a split of about one inch to the top board.
___CITATION: Gullans and Espey no. 208.
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