London: Printed at the Trianon Press for the Trustees of the William Blake Trust, 1965. Blake, William. Limited Edition. Hardcover. Number 301 of 380, quarto size, unpaginated [8 plates and 5 pp. of commentary]. Fine. Item #CNJL1055
"The Book of Thel" is an unrhymed verse poem, and the first of the symbolic Illuminated Books to be completed after work had finished on the "Songs of Innocence" and before the etching of most of the "Songs of Experience", and was one of Blake's more popular works during his lifetime. lt is similar to "Songs of Innocence" in its dealings with the uncorrupted human soul, personified in Thel who encounters the spiritual forms of experience in Lily-of-the-Valley, the Cloud, the Worm and the Clod of Clay, all of which she eventually rejects to return to the spiritual world.
William Blake (1757-1827) is arguably the most original and highly-regarded English author - unusual in that he excelled both as an author and an artist. Although thought mad by his contemporaries, he was held in high regard for his expressiveness and for the synthesis of philosophical and mystical senses within his work. Blake’s work has been spectacularly reproduced through the pochoir technique by Arnold Fawcus and his Trianon Press, which has an undeniable claim to being the finest press of its kind in the last century and has long been known for their unrivaled artworks in fine colour printing.
___DESCRIPTION: Original reddish-tan quarter morocco with hand-marbled paper sides, top-edge gilt, backstrip lettered in gilt, 8 colour plates reproduced by the collotype and pochoir processes, printed on Arches pure rag paper made to match the paper used by Blake, each page is watermarked with Blake's monogram; quarto size (11.25" by 8.75"), unpaginated [8 plates and 5 pp. of commentary], limited edition, no. 301 of 380 of the regular editions (426 copies total). Housed in publisher's slipcase covered with the same hand-marbled paper with matching morocco guards at the head and tail of the opening.
___CONDITION: A fine copy, internally bright and free of prior owner markings, covers are clean except for minor sun-toning to backstrip, corners are straight, text block is tight and square; overall a fine copy. Slipcase is near fine, strong and sturdy, clean; some minimal rubbing to the edges of the backstrip, else fine.
___CITATION: Bentley, Blake Books, 26.
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