[East Aurora, New York]: [The Roycrofters], (1905). Limited Edition. Suede. No. 90 of 100 printed on Imperial Japan Vellum, octavo size, 101 pp, in a custom binding, signed by Elbert Hubbard. Near fine. Item #21010101
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) originally published "Nature" in 1836; it contains his thoughts on Man's relationship with Nature, and his exploration of a true spirituality. At that time most of society were traditional Christians and Emerson's belief system, being outside the norm, was criticized by some; in fact, "one review published in January 1837 criticized the philosophies in 'Nature' and disparagingly referred to the beliefs as 'Transcendentalist', coining the term by which the group would become known" (n.b., per Wiki).
Interestingly, the then-young Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) read "Nature" while a college student at Harvard "and took it to heart. It eventually became an essential influence for Thoreau's later writings, including his seminal 'Walden'. In fact, Thoreau wrote 'Walden' after living in a cabin on land that Emerson owned" (ibid).
Elbert Hubbard and his group, The Roycrofters, were highly influenced by William Morris, his Kelmscott Press and the Arts and Crafts Movement. This volume is a lovely example of their work, with the suede binding, although slightly sunned at the edges, still smooth and supple.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in green suede (now mellowed to tan on the spine and the edges of the covers) with yapped edges, top edge gilt, tan silk pastedowns, original tan ribbon marker, illustrated title page in black and orange, initial capital letters for the Foreword, Introduction, and each of the chapters in orange super-imposed over four different black woodcuts serving as a chapter headpieces, the chapters each with a chapter tailpiece, colophon in orange, publisher's device at the rear with yet another woodcut in orange and black; octavo size (8.25" by 5.25"), pagination: [i-viii], 1-91, [92, colophon] [93, publisher's device].
___CONDITION: Near fine, the suede binding smooth and supple with absolutely no powdering (as is often the case), the yapped edges without wear or tears, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, ribbon marker firmly attached, and entirely free of prior owner markings; the front silk pastedown partly loose (could easily be re-glued) and the gutter following the title page just beginning to crack, but the text block still solid. Even with these minor faults still a near fine copy of a lovely Roycrofters publication.
___CITATION: McKenna no. 112.
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