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Walks in the Way of Old Weever! In Divers Small Books. WITH: "Sundry Slips of Yew, set to the Memory of Divers Citizens of London. Inscriptions from Church-Yard Tombs" (1864). WITH: "A Basket of Bright Berries from the Yew Trees of Paradise" (1864)
London: Rochester Press ("Set-up, and Imprinted, in Leisure-time, by Edwin Roffe"), 1862. FIRST AND ONLY EDITION. Bound in contemporary dark brown quarter calf over patterned brown cloth, gilt spine title and urns. VERY GOOD CONDITION (endpapers spotted, minor wear to binding extremities); an attractive copy of a charming and unique book. Small 4to. (6.75" x 8.5"). 4ff., 11 + 21 + 7 + 3 + 3 + 7 + 13 pp. Illustrated throughout with line engraved by Roffe. ADDED: 11 pp. ("Sundry Slips") + 6 pp. ("Basket of Bright Berries") PRIVATELY PRINTED BOOK OF FUNERAL INSCRIPTIONS, LIMITED TO JUST 16 (SIXTEEN) COPIES, "set-up, and Imprinted, in Leisure-time, by Edwin Roffe". A rather eccentric and extraordinary romp, based on John Weever's 1631 book "Ancient Funerall Monuments." It consists of no less than 7 short books, issued together, recounting various travels through graveyards, by graveyards, or just thinking about old friends who are in graveyards. BOUND WITH OUR COPY ARE TWO ADDITIONAL BOOKLETS (both limited to just 16 copies): "Sundry Slips of Yew, set to the Memory of Divers Citizens of London. Inscriptions from Church-Yard Tombs" (1864), 11 pp. NOT IN DOBELL; OCLC lists only 2 copies worldwide (none in America). WITH: "A Basket of Bright Berries from the Yew Trees of Paradise" (1864), 6 pp. NOT IN DOBELL; NOT IN OCLC. Roffe's "Walks in the Way of Old Weever" contains a number of funeral inscriptions, "copied by Mr. Roffe from the original monuments. He named his work as above, in veneration of the memory of Weever, the author of 'Ancient Funerall Monuments.' Mr. Roffe's book contains many curious and interesting epitaphs, with notes upon their peculiarities, and upon the person commemorated. The collector tells us that his book contains only a small portion of the many inscriptions he had gathered together, all of which he had once hoped to preserve in print" (Bertram Dobell, Catalogue of Books printed for Private Circulation, 1906, p. 155). Roffe, an antiquarian, printer and engraver, was not ridiculing Weever herein, but was obviously enjoying his playful emulations of the 17th century "connoisseur of graveyards, tobacco-enthusiast, sycophant, satirist, dwarf (and) penner of dirty ditties" (Ian Wright). It is not only the text, but Roffe's typographical style, flourishes and enthusiasm, which seems to gently mock other, more serious Victorian books of the period, and all one can say in the end is that the entire production is an outstanding example of the truly Private Press. Other similar efforts by Roffe (all privately printed by him and limited to 16 copies) include "British Monumental Inscriptions; gathered occasionally, from divers Churchyards" (1859-1861) and "The Tomb Seeker. Funeral Records" (1863); OCLC lists only a handful of copies in this hemisphere. Our copy appears to be the only one in private ownership.
      [Bookseller: Michael Laird Rare Books LLC]
Last Found On: 2015-03-06           Check availability:      Biblio    

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