London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1912. Item #03622
Only Poe Could Have Written The Poems
Only Dulac Could Have Illustrated Them
[DULAC, Edmund, illustrator]. POE, Edgar Allan. The Bells and Other Poems. With Illustrations by Edmund Dulac. London: Hodder and Stoughton, n.d. .
First trade edition. Large quarto (10 7/8 x 8 1/2 in; 277 x 217 mm). Unpaginated. Twenty-eight color plates, with descriptive tissue guards. Ten black ink head-pieces on tan backgrounds and portrait of Poe on the title-page, also in black ink on tan background. Original grey-green cloth, gilt stamped on front cover with all-over Dulac design of clusters of bells and lettered in gilt. Spine lettered in gilt and with similar design. An excellent copy.
“Dulac’s pictures for The Bells were more uniform in mood and style than groupings for almost any other book of his to this time. Although water colours, they are overstreaked with gilt in some cases, crayon in others, to produce rich haunting effects. Deep shades of blue and a special deep pink-rust predominate throughout...The Outlook, which printed, in black and white, plate 22... commented: ‘…for the book thinking people will say with grace…sometimes Dulac’s pictures are deep-coloured and intense, sometimes dim and ghost-like. But one and all are sensitized to record impressions of unearthly beauty or horror. Only Poe could have written the poems. Only Dulac could have illustrated them.’…Not to be overlooked here are the sophisticated ink drawings Dulac made for headpieces. Although many of the books he illustrated had small ink decorations throughout…he had not worked in this medium so fluently since the days of doing illustrations for The Pall Mall magazine (1906-1908)…As the 10 Bells headpieces show, he had now become truly masterful with his pen” (Hughey).