Grasmere: The Wordsworth Trust, 2007. Esslemont, David. Limited Edition. Leather bound. Number 2 of 10 copies in a special binding (total edition 200) and with an extra set of illustrations, quarto, 380 pp., inscribed by David Esslemont. Fine. Item #CNJL1388
David Esslemont (b. 1953) is known as an artist, designer, printer, bookbinder and publisher. He began his career working with books at the Gregynog Press in Wales and, while still with them, began publishing his own books in 1978. His interests expanded such that now his "paintings, drawings, and prints explore the relationship of elements in both the natural landscape and the abstract world." "His bindings have become blank canvases of leather or paper and increasingly his book art is moving beyond the covers to the walls and while the textual element may still be referenced, it is visual forms that are predominant" (N.B., above from the web site of the artist). It was in 2005 that Esslemont was invited to be an Artist in Residence with the Wordsworth Trust, which resulted in this work.
Per the book's prospectus, "This edition of Wordsworth's masterpiece follows the text of one of the Trust's greatest treasures, the fair copy made by Dorothy Wordsworth in 1805-6 known as 'Manuscript A'... Wordsworth continued to revise the poem and it was not published until after his death in 1850. The 1805 version of the poem, now considered Wordsworth's greatest poetic achievement, did not reach the public until 1926 in an edition based on Manuscript A, with reference to 'Manuscript B'... [this] new edition follows closely the original spelling and light punctuation of Manuscript A and presents Wordsworth's poem as it stood at a particular point in time when he appeared, to his wife and sister, 'to be finished'. Robert Woof's introductory essay describes the early growth of the poem, tracing the changes that were made between the very first fragments of 1798 and the poem as completed in 1805-6... "
The volume is illustrated with fourteen watercolours, one facing the start of every 'Book' and one used as a frontispiece; they were printed digitally using archival inks, with the images being details from a single watercolour. The special binding copies, of which this is one, includes all fourteen watercolours as separate prints together with a fifteenth that makes up the full picture.
___DESCRIPTION: Full white alum-tawed goatskin with the cover design based on detail from the same watercolour that was used for the illustrations, other details form the doublures and flyleaves, hand-sewn on linen tapes, with hand-sewn two-color headbands and leather-jointed endleaves, fore-edge uncut, fourteen color archival inkjet prints; Adobe Bembo type, Zerkall mould-made paper, quarto size (11.4" by 7.3"), 380 pp., limited edition, this number 2 of 10 copies in a special binding, this copy being inscribed by David Esslemont to the original (and most recent) owner; total edition 200. Housed in a felt-lined fall-down-back box covered with light grey linen cloth, gold paper spine label with black letting; with an extra suite of the illustrations, including one not printed in the book, contained within a separate wallet of matching cloth.
___CONDITION: A stunning, fine example; like new and absolutely spectacular.
___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.
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