Gloucestershire: The Whittington Press & Angscot Productions, 1981. Blake, William. Limited Edition. Full leather. Special Edition, number VII of XXV, of a total edition of 350, folio size,  pp., together with an extra suite of illustrations. Fine. Item #CNJL1175
"John Milton's (1608-1674) 'On the Morning of Christ's Nativity' is significant for its merit alone, though this remarkable poem is also important in the context of the artist's career. His first major work in English, the nativity ode reflects 'his desire to attempt the highest subjects and to take on the role of bardic Poet-Priest' (Barbara Lewalski, Life of John Milton 38)." (n. b., from the web site of Dartmouth University.)
William Blake (1757-1827) had illustrated two other works by Milton before this, the third work to be illustrated by Blake for the Rev. Joseph Thomas. It is comprised of six watercolours, being almost literal illustrations of the text, which is that of the first edition of 1645. Blake's incomparable, exquisite and unique style is a perfect complement to this remarkable work by Milton, presenting a great English poet with a great English mystic artist.
___DESCRIPTION: Full dark-green Oasis goatskin, title in gilt to backstrip, top-edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges uncut, gilt single-rule border to turn-in, marbled endpapers, author's portrait and six colour plates tipped-in; Caslon type, Barcham Green paper with Three Poplars watermark, folio size (12.75" by 10.25"), pagination: [i-x] xi-xii [1-2] 3-24 [1 colophon], special edition, number VII of XXV, of a total edition of 350. With a set of all six illustrations slipped in to a portfolio covered in marbled paper over boards, the book and portfolio both housed in a black cloth fall-down-back box, lined in marbled paper, with a printed paper label at the backstrip.
___CONDITION: A fine copy, the leather binding smooth and unrubbed, the corners straight and unrubbed, the binding tight with solid hinges, the interior clean and bright, and free of prior owner markings; clean, crisp, as new. The portfolio and set of extra illustrations are all fine, clean and without wear; the box is near fine, strong and sturdy, clean, with just a hint of rubbing and a few light stray marks. Overall fine, a lovely set.
___POSTAGE: Please note that this is a large and heavy item, and therefore additional postage may apply; please inquire for details.
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