London: Macmillan and Co., 1917. Item #03903
One of 500 Copies, Signed by Arthur Rackham
[RACKHAM, Arthur, illustrator]. MALORY, [Sir Thomas]. The Romance of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table. Abridged from Malory’s Morte d’Arthur by Alfred W. Pollard. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham. London: Macmillan and Co., 1917.
Edition de Luxe. Limited to 500 copies (this being copy No. 128), numbered and signed by the artist.
Quarto (11 1/8 x 8 7/8 inches; 282 x 226 mm.). [2, half-title], [2, limitation leaf], [iii]-xxiv, 509, [1, blank] pp. Sixteen mounted color plates, with descriptive tissue guards, and seventy drawings in black and white.
Publisher's full vellum over boards pictorially stamped and lettered in gilt on front cover and spine, top edge gilt, others uncut. Upper corner of front board expertly straightened, light soiling/marking to spine and back cover. Overall a very good copy of a hard to find title. Housed in a fleece-lined, blue cloth slipcase.
"The Romance of King Arthur (1917) was another wartime book, commissioned, like the Allies' Fairy Book, to reflect - and cash in upon - the nations' mood of patriotism,and martial endevour. In preparing for the commission, Rackham turned to his own copy of Beardsley's Morte D'Arthur and, following the pattern of the Beardsley version, drew square and rectangular chapter heardings to be set at irregular intervals up and down the page. As in Beardsley, these have a stark black and white appearance, though Rackham cannot resist the occasional wryly humorous touch such as a barking dog or a jester's head. The closest Rackham comes to Beardsley, however, is in his illustration of Sangreal, a flaming lidded chalice carried by an attenuated golden-haired white-robed maiden. This homage to Aubrey is based closely on Beardsley's own angel in The Achieving of the Sangreal, the frontispiece to Volume Two of Morte D'Arthur."
(James Hamilton. Arthur Rackham. A Biography. pp.111-112).
Latimore and Haskell, p. 47. Riall, p. 130.