LIMITED EDITION, one of only 300 copies printed on handmade paper of a total edition of only 308 copies. Printed in black and red in the Chaucer type, the title in Troy type, with a fine and elaborate woodcut frame in grape vine motif to the first leaf of More's text, a second fine woodcut page frame in the motif of floral vines, woodcut decorated initials throughout, many as large as ten lines, Kelmscott device on colophon page. 8vo, in the original limp vellum with brown silk ties, the spine lettered in gilt. Housed in an attractive cloth-covered slipcase. With bookplates of Percy Withers and J. P. Foster. xiv, 282 pp. A very fine, as pristine and very beautiful copy. THE KELMSCOTT UTOPIA, printed in Morris' characteristicly beautiful style. Morris printed Thomas More's UTOPIA because he felt it was the sort of book that belonged in every socialist's library. Morris' enthusiastic championing of More as a proto-communist, fighting against the "ugly brutality of . commercialism" cost him, at least temporarily. An Eton schoolmaster placed an order for forty volumes, to be given to students as prizes. When he saw Morris' introduction he cancelled the order. Morris nevertheless sold out his entire press run of 300 copies within a year. Morris had intended to include a map of Utopia with this edition, but the illustration was never executed. This copy with the bookplate of Percy Withers. Withers was at the centre of an illustrious circle of friends including many of the foremost British writers and visual artists of the inter-war period. Dr Withers had a rare talent for friendship, and cultivated a distinguished literary and artistic coterie who obviously valued his genuine interest in their work as well as his personal and professional support. Most appear to have had great affection for him – including the famously reserved poet A.E. Housman – and frequently enjoyed the Withers household’s hospitality. Bookseller Inventory # 27237
Title: UTOPIA Written By Sir Thomas More [Now ...
Publisher: Hammersmith By William Morris at the Kelmscott Press August 4, 1893
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