Oxford: Printed at the Shakespeare Head Press and published for the Press by Basil Blackwell, 1930-1931. Farleigh, John. Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 230 of 450, five volumes (complete), quarto size, 1468 total pp. Very good +. Item #CNSZ02
This five-volume set comprises the entire works of Homer, arguably the most prominent of ancient Greek writers, who composed the epic poems "Iliad" and "Odyssey". Both of these deal with the events of the Trojan War; here the Shakespeare Head Press recreates the dramatist and poet George Chapman's (ca. 1559-1634) 1616 translation of Homer's poetry. The first four volumes contain the books of Homer's two greatest epic poems, and the fifth contains his "Batrachomyomachia", or "Battle of Frogs and Mice", a comic epic and parody of the "Iliad" in structure and content.
Throughout each volume are wood engravings by English painter and printmaker John Farleigh (1900-1965), who created fifty wood engravings for the set; his illustrations have an elegant simplicity of line in their depiction of scenes from Homer's work. Farleigh is known, in addition for his work with the Shakespeare Head and Golden Cockerel Presses, for the wood-engraved illustrations done for George Bernard Shaw's "The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God" which created controversy when first published. He was a founding member of the Crafts Centre of Great Britain, and was elected to the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers.
___DESCRIPTION: Half red leather with white cloth boards, gilt lettering on the spine, fore- and bottom edges uncut, the first volume with wood-engraved frontispiece of the translator George Chapman, based on the frontispiece of the original 1616 edition, and title page with wood-engraved pictorial border, the fifth volume with wood-engraved frontispiece and title page with wood-engraved pictorial border, all volumes with black-and-white wood engravings by John Farleigh throughout; Centaur type, Batchelor's Shakespeare Head handmade paper, quarto size (11.5" by 8"), pagination: Volume I: [i-xii] xiii-xxxix [xl] [1-3] 4-262 ; Volume II: [i-vi] [1-3] 4-289; Volume III: [i-vii] viii-xvi [1-3] 4-325; Volume IV: [i-vi] [1-3] 4-303 [304-307]; Volume V: [i-vii] viii-xv [xvi] [1-3] 4-199 , one of 450 copies, this number 230. Tasteful prior owner bookplates on each volume's front paste-down endpaper (see details below).
___CONDITION: The text pages are fine, the pages clean and bright, the illustrations crisp and clear; the binding is very good, with strong, square text blocks with solid hinges, all volumes with soiling to the white cloth boards, light rubbing to the heads and tails of the spines and to the corners, and corners are gently bumped, light soiling to the front endpapers, Volumes I and II have several prior owner names written on the front paste-down endpaper and front free endpaper, respectively, and Volume I with prior owner pencil markings on the rear paste-down endpaper. Due to the state of the binding we are grading the set overall as very good plus; it could almost be termed near fine.
___CITATION: Ransom p. 17.
___POSTAGE: Please note that this is a large and heavy set, and therefore additional postage will apply; please inquire for details.
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