East Aurora, New York: The Roycrofters, 1901. Limp leather. Quarto size, 67 pp. Near fine. Item #19090704
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) gave the world a literary legacy that few can match - who amongst us has not read many of his stories such as "The Tell-Tale Heart" or poems such as "The Raven", with which this volume opens...."Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore...".
This publication is by the Roycrofters, founded by Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), whose Press was 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. The influence of William Morris and his Arts and Crafts movement on Hubbard can be seen in the lovely decorative title page and the attention to detail in the page layout, the binding, and the quality of the paper used.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full light brown limp suede, debossed rectangle on the front with gilt lettering, yapped edges, chocolate brown silk pastedown endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut fore- and bottom edges, tissue-guarded frontispiece an illustration of Poe possibly based on the "Lewin Daguerreotype" of Poe but with an altered expression, decorated title page with the drawing of a woman inset above the lettering (perhaps meant to be Lenore?), a second portrait of Poe "From a picture in the collection of R.W. Griswold" between pp. 26 and 27; includes the poems "The Raven", "Lenore", "The Bells", "Annabel Lee", and many more; quarto size (just under 10" by 6.25"), pagination: [i-iv, preliminary pages] i-v being the Foreword, [vi, blank], [vii, half-title], [viii, blank], -49 [50-54], [55, colophon].
___CONDITION: Could almost be deemed fine; the suede covers are clean and soft, with none of the powdering or wear usually seen with this Roycroft binding, the yapped edges without tears, the binding unsunned, the silk endpapers clean and entire (often the silk has started to disintegrate), the text block strong, the pages clean and bright, and completely free of prior owner markings; the two condition issues we see which prevent us as grading as "fine" are a short tear at the bottom of the front hinge (approximately 1.25" long) and evidence that a prior owner paper-clipped something to the first two free pages, with the outline of the clip and light rust marks to the verso of the front free endpaper and a faint shadow of the said paper clip on the silk pastedown.
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