The Blue Moon.
London: John Murray, 1904. Small 8vo, vii, 210pp. With a double-page opening spread frontispiece and title-page, and 8 full-page b/w plates. Original blue cloth, upper cover stamped in black, backstrip lettered in gilt, top edge gilt, very good. First edition of this collection of fairy stories illustrated by Laurence Housman and engraved by his sister Clemence Housman. DNB notes:Clemence had been working long hours as a clerk for her father, but found that her skills flourished in the field of wood-engraving for James Guthrie at the Pear Tree Press. Like Laurence, Clemence was a writer as well as an artist, publishing books such as The Were-Wolf (1896), The Unknown Sea (1898), and The Life of Sir Aglovale de Galis (1905). Housman studied at the Arts and Crafts School, and at Miller's Lane City and Guilds Art School, South Lambeth. His first work was in the field of illustration, but he eventually exhibited in spaces such as the Baillie Gallery, the Fine Art Society, and the New English Art Club. He wrote for Harry Quilter's Universal Review and as art critic for the Manchester Guardian, an association which lasted for sixteen years: he dealt with controversies such as the Chantrey bequest and the statues by Jacob Epstein on the British Medical Association building. He also contributed to the Yellow Book, and published his poetry in two volumes, Green Arras (1896) and Spikenard (1898). In the course of his literary and artistic career Housman came to know Charles Ricketts, Charles Channon, and Oscar Wilde. Rodney Engen's study (1983) provides a comprehensive list of his artwork and writings. He and his sister were lifelong activists, first for womens suffrage and later for the British Society for the Study of Sex Psychology and the Order of Chaeronea, and the First World War found him writing for Sylvia Pankhurst's Workers' Dreadnought and in support of Indian independence. In 1919 he joined the Independent Labour Party and prison reform and international peace became pressing issues for him. He resigned from the Franchise Club in protest against its anti-German stance. In 1916 Housman visited the United States with C. R. Ashbee and G. Lowes Dickinson on a lecture tour in support of the League of Nations. In 1920 he returned to the United States, visiting Sing Sing prison in New York state where Mott Osborne had been running an experiment in self-government under the Mutual Welfare League. (DNB).
(Item Id: 5607)