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MORRIS, William. The Defence of Guenevere. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1892--[Wilfrid Scawen BLUNT (1840-1922). The Love-Lyrics & Songs of Proteus. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1891-1892.]

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MORRIS, William. The Defence of Guenevere. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1892--[Wilfrid Scawen BLUNT (1840-1922). The Love-Lyrics & Songs of Proteus. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1891-1892.]

4° (205 x 145mm). Incomplete set of sheets, collation: b-m8. Letterpress cancellans slip pasted onto h1r correcting 'chestnutb-lossoms' to 'chestnut-blossoms'. Printed in Golden type, 2 woodcut borders, each poem opening with a woodcut initial by Hooper after Morris. (Some very light offsetting and browning, paper slightly creased, a few marginal flaws or tears.) Original limp vellum [by J. & J. Leighton], manuscript black-letter calligraphic legend in dark red on upper cover 'morris' [?by Herbert Ellis], yapp edges, spine with later gilt lettering (vellum very lightly marked, covers bowed).

PROOF SHEETS IN A TRIAL BINDING FOR THE DEFENCE OF GUENEVERE, marking the change from stiff- to limp-vellum bindings for Kelmscott books, with a different text and placement of the lettering to that used for the published edition. The text printed in this volume follows that published following the removal of the 'Natalia's Resurrection' sonnets. Although the first four books issued by the Press were bound in stiff vellum, Morris later decided that he preferred limp vellum, indicating that this is not a trial binding for Blunt's Love-Lyrics (the third book issued by the Press), but one for Morris' The Defence of Guenevere. The former work was published on 27 February 1892 and printing of the latter began on 17 February 1892, but was not finished until 2 April. In the meantime, this set of redundant sheets bearing a cancellans slip -- which contains exactly the same number of leaves as The Defence of Guenevere (collation: [a]2 b-l8 m6) and is only c. 5mm taller and wider -- was used for a limp vellum trial binding, since Morris' opinion on the matter of stiff and limp bindings had changed (although this volume does not have silk ties, which The Defence of Guenevere did). The Defence of Guenevere was the only Kelmscott publication to bear a hand-lettered calligraphic title ('Guenevere', which was written in black letter by Herbert Ellis down the spine), and thus this volume bears Morris' name (rather than Blunt's) on the binding. Cf. Peterson A3 and A5; Ransom 'Kelmscott' 3 and 5; Tomkinson 'Kelmscott' 3 and 5.
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