New York: The Macmillan Company, 1935. Leighton, Clare. 1st Edition. Leather bound. Quarto size,  pp., illustrated, in a deluxe binding. Fine. Item #CNBR022
Clare Leighton (1898-1989) was an English author and wood engraver. "Convinced that wood-engraving was an art for the masses rather than for an élite, Leighton worked independently of the private presses. Her popular success was founded on a disciplined technique, powerful compositions, and a gravity of content and sincerity of feeling that derives from artists such as Samuel Palmer. 'No one in our time', wrote Eric Gill in Gollancz's publicity leaflet for The Farmer's Year, 'has succeeded better in presenting the nobility of massiveness and breadth of life of the earth on a scale so grand.'
The artist herself, who possessed a gift for friendship with people of all races and classes, was influential as a teacher, lecturer, and author" (ODNB). She illustrated books for Thornton Wilder (Bridge of San Luis Rey, 1929) and Thomas Hardy, an author for whom she felt a special affinity (The Return of the Native, 1929). "The Four Hedges" was a personal chronicle of a year in her Chiltern garden, and a great success when it was published; it follows the circle of life in the garden world throughout the months, and is replete with detailed wood-engravings of animals, birds, and the human caretakers performing tasks such as planting.
___DESCRIPTION: Deluxe binding in contemporary full polished blue calf, with vine- and single-rule gilt panels to both boards, backstrip with two brown morocco labels and elaborate gilt decorations, gilt dentelles and rules to the turn-in, all edges gilt, floral patterned endpapers, profusely illustrated with both full-page and textual wood engravings; quarto size (10 1/8" by 8"), [i-xviii] 11-166  pp., first edition.
___CONDITION: Fine overall in a deluxe binding, the leather smooth and supple, the gilt bright, the binding tight and square with solid hinges, and free of prior owner markings; a hint of sunning to the spine, the top corner of the text block with a very shallow (almost imperceptible) crease at the corner; overall fine, an exquisite book both inside and out.
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