The Elf - A Sequence of the Seasons.

The Elf - A Sequence of the Seasons.
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[London]: The Old Bourne Press, 1902-1904. 4 vols., small 4to, each 25-27pp. with full-page prints and text illustrations. Text printed in black, illustrations printed variously in black, red, and blue. Original quarter cloth and color-printed boards, a very fine set as issued. A complete set of the second series of The Elf - there was one volume for each season: Spring was published in May 1902; Summer in November 1902; Autumn in June 1903; Winter in February 1904. Each volume is completely written (poems and prose pieces) and illustrated by James Guthrie and each is limited to 250 numbered copies, this set being #204. In the first two volumes the limitation statement handwritten in pencil; in the third and fourth volumes it is printed (with the number being written in). Printed by Guthrie under the eye of W. Herbert Broome who founded the Old Bourne Press in May 1902 and designed the “Myrtle” type used here. The type later came into Guthrie's possession and he continued to use it in later Pear Tree Press books. Guthrie was in the great British tradition of artist-poet-printers beginning with William Blake, and Colin Franklin writes that “his series of poems, Frescoes from Buried Temples (1928), is an extraordinary production from poet and artist alike … [the book] strikes me as among the three or four monumental achievements of private presses in the twentieth century; and by its originality of concept and content, the highest.” (Item Id: 110754)

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