Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1892. William Morris greatly admired The Golden Legend, a medieval collection of saints' lives. It was one of the first books printed in England by William Caxton, (1422- 1491), the first English printer, who, as a translator and publisher, exerted an important influence on English literature. In his bibliography of the Kelmscott Press, William Peterson writes that The Golden Legend was intended to be the first book produced by the press, but because of its length and some problems with paper delivery, Morris was forced to issue several shorter volumes before it was completed. The book was completed in three volumes and a celebratory dinner was held in October 1892 (Bibliography pages 19-24). It was printed in Golden type on Flower paper. These 6 leaves display the fine printing and handsome Morris-designed ornamental initials. The leaves comprise pages 3-4, 13-14, 296-297, 368-367, 499-500, 523-524. There are eleven 6-line initials and three 10-line initials. The pages are in very good condition although the leaf with pages 368-369 show some aging and has the name C.B. Foote and New York written upside down in ink at the bottom of page 368. A nice addition to a teaching collection for the printing arts and history of the book. Very Good.
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