First Part of the History of…Don-Quioxte of the Mancha

Ashendene Press Publisher-Printer Charles H. St. John Hornby's Personal Copy

[ASHENDENE PRESS]. [CERVANTES SAAVEDRA, Miguel de]. The First[-Second] Part of the History of the Valorous and Wittie Knight-Errant Don-Quixote of the Mancha. Translated out of the Spanish by Thomas Shelton, MDCXII. Chelsea: The Ashendene Press, 1927-1928.

One of 225 copies on Batchelor paper, out of a total edition of 245 copies. Two large folio volumes (16 7/8 x 12 1/16 inches; 430 x 308 mm.). [2, blank], xiii, [1, blank], 268, [1, colophon], [3, blank]; [2, blank], x, 256, [1, colophon], [3, blank] pp. Printed in red and black in Ptolemy type. Text in double columns. Border and initials designed by Louise Powell and cut on wood by W.M. Quick and Geo. H. Ford.

Publisher's full green morocco by W.H. Smith & Son. Gilt-lettered spines with raised bands. With the armorial device of Charles H. St. John Hornby in gilt to upper covers to each volume. A very fine set of the publisher-printer's personal copy.

"...One of the earliest followers of Kelmscott was Ashendene Press, which was started by C.H. St. John Hornby in 1894 and survived until 1935. Hornby was a director of W.H. Smith & Son, and named his press from the family estate...One of the trinity of great English private presses" (Cave, The Private Presses, p. 118).

An English gentleman of wealth, "St. John Hornby had no concern with profit from his books, though from sheer merit and beauty they were bought and collected from early days...costs had never restricted him" (Franklin, The Private Presses, p. 51)

"The two chief determining factors were, without a doubt, a love of books, for their form as well as their content, and a love of working with my hands - a natural leaning towards craftsmanship. One thing is certain, that I had no idea either of fame or profit nor any high-flown notions of showing 'how it should be done.' The Press was started solely for the sake of interest & amusement I expected to derive from it" (Charles H. St. John Hornby, Foreword to his Ashendene Press Bibliography, 1933).

“First appearance of Ptolemy type. Ashendene knight-in-armour paper…taken as a single work Don-Quixote is the largest of the Ashendene books. It has an interesting alternative to Hewitt’s drawn or printed initials, the successful but unrepeatable device of neo-Kelmscott initials, borders and opening words cut on wood from designs by Louise Powell. The new Ashendene type was imitated and adapted from the Geographia of Ptolemaeus, printed by Leonard Holle at Ulm in 1482. In two columns, with red used chiefly for headings and shoulder notes, decorated but not illustrated, this link with the Kelmscott past was an entirely successful venture” (Franklin, The Ashendene Press).

Ashendene Bibliography XXXVI. Franklin, The Ashendene Press, pp. 241-242.Ransom, Private Presses, p. 206, no. 39. Tomkinson, p. 8, no. 39. Item #01294

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