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Auguries of Innocence
Flansham [Sussex]: The Pear Tree Press,, Spring 1914. Small (12mo sized) quarto. Original blue paper-covered card boards, intaglio-printed title label to front cover, pages uncut as intended (each leaf bears a plate impression). Printed on Arches handmade paper. Housed in a custom made white cloth folding case. Intalgio printed in blue and silver to a design by James Guthrie, the calligraphy by Lilian Frost, with 16 plates including half-title, title-page, 11 page of text, colophon, and 2 plates of Guthrie's illustrations. Wrapper slightly ruffled at the edges, and with a few minors marks to wrappers and a very few internally. An excellent copy of a fragile production. First Pear Tree Press edition; number 7 of just 25 copies (the limitation calligraphically inscribed on the leaf following the colophon), a much smaller limitation than the 1/100 more usually met with, and produced using more delicately coloured inks. This limitation is not recorded in the bibliographies. This beautiful production around some of Blake's best-loved lines is generally regarded as Guthrie's first really competent plate book. This copy bears the bookplate of the author (of Quest for Corvo fame), bibliographer (of Yeats), and latter-day celebrant of the fin-de-si├Ęcle decadents, A. J. A. Symons (1900-1941), who in 1922 founded the First Editions Club. A nice association to a rare production, printed moreover at a poignant date in the Spring of 1914, with such proleptic lines as: "Nought can deform the human race / Like to the armourer's iron brace; / The soldier armed with sword and gun / Palsied strikes the summer's sun." Or, to use the later words of Philip Larkin, in a poem meditating on that same year: "Never such Innocence again".
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2015-03-06           Check availability:      Biblio    

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