8 December 2015
LAWRENCE, T. E., translator. – HOMER. The Odyssey of Homer. London: Sir Emery Walker, Wilfred Merton and Bruce Rogers, 1932.
4° (291 x 199mm). 26 woodcut roundels printed in gold and black as the title vignette and headpieces to each of the 24 books, book XXII with an additional roundel headpiece (occasional very light offsetting from the roundels). Original black crushed niger by W.H. Smith and Son Ltd., the spine titled and dated in gilt, top edge gilt, others uncut; original slipcase (slight wear to joints); later quarter leather folding case (joints worn). Provenance: Bruce Rogers (1870-1957) American book designer and typographer (bookplate, presentation inscription on first blank); Victor H.Borsodi (d.1957) New York book collector (bookplate, presentation inscription on first blank).
FIRST EDITION OF LAWRENCE’S TRANSLATION, LIMITED TO 530 COPIES of which 500 for sale by subscription. PUBLISHER’S PRESENTATION COPY, SIGNED BY BRUCE ROGERS: “Inscribed with pleasure, for Victor H. Borsodi, Bruce Rogers.” Borsodi’s main collecting focused on the works of Bruce Rogers. Considered to be one of Bruce Rogers’ most famous works, Lawrence’s translation of The Odyssey employs the Monotype version of Rogers’ Centaur type for the first time. Each book is introduced with a gold medallion decorated in black, each with a design adapted from those found on Greek vases, and drawn by Rogers. It took seven separate impressions to print each medallion, ensuring both their beauty and durability. Rogers commissioned the special grey-toned paper from the J. Barcham Green mill.
Rogers persuaded Lawrence to undertake a new translation of The Odyssey. Begun in 1928 and finished in 1932, the translation was undertaken during Lawrence's free time while he was serving in the ranks ... a beautiful edition" (O'Brien). Lawrence's Letters ... to Bruce Rogers and More Letters ... to Bruce Rogers provide an intriguing insight into the development of Lawrence's translation, his concerns about the correct idiom for the translation, and the practical understanding that his own travels and experiences could bring to the adventures narrated by Homer. Clements pp.41-42; O'Brien A141. [Laid in:] Original four-page prospectus and order blank. A FINE ASSOCIATION COPY.
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