London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1888. Item #04056
A Fine "Duodo" Style Binding by Zaehnsdorf
ZAEHNSDORF, binder. LANG, Andrew. Grass of Parnassus. Rhymes Old and New. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1888.
First edition, Large Paper copy limited to one hundred and thirteen copies of which this is No. 41.
Octavo ( 8 7/16 x 5 3/8 inches; 214 x 136 mm.). , xii, [1, Grass of Parnassus], [1, blank], -124, [1, The last Chance], [1, blank], [1, The last Chance], [1, printers imprint] pp.
A fine 'exhibition' binding (ca. 1895) by Zaehnsdorf, stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in and with the gilt 'exhibition' stamp on the rear morocco end-paper. Full olive green morocco, covers elaborately tooled in gilt with floral sprays within leafy ovals. Spine with five raised bands, with the same designs as on the covers and lettered in gilt in compartments, gilt-ruled board edges, dark green straight-grain morocco doublures elaborately stamped in gilt with an intricate floral design. Dark green morocco end-leaves bordered in gilt and with small 'leafy' corner-pieces, top edge gilt. Expertly re-backed with the original spine laid down. Covers uniformly and attractively faded to a warm shade of brown.
A very attractive binding in the "Duodo" style. Pietro Duodo (1554-1611) was Venetian ambassador to France in the 1590s, and this all-over design of naturalistic flowers within leafy ovals imitates the Parisian bindings designed for his library, although with the spine in compartments rather than the flat spine usually seen.
"Many of the verses and translations in this volume were published first in Ballads and Lyrics of Old France (1872). Though very sensible that they have the demerits of imitative and even of undergraduate rhyme, I print them again because people I like have liked them. The rest are of different dates, and lack (though doubtless they need) the excuse of having been written, like some of the earlier pieces, curing College Lectures. I would gladly have added to this volume what other more or less serious rhymes I have written, but circumstances over which I have no control have bound them up with Ballades, and other toys of that sort.
It may be as well to repeat in prose, what has already been said in verse, that Grass of Parnassus, the pretty Autumn flower, grows in the marshes at the foot of the Muses' Hill, and other hills, not at the top by any means.
Several of the versions from the Greek Anthology have been published in the Fortnightly Review, and the sonnet on Colonel Burnaby appeared in Punch. These, with pieces from other serials, are reprinted by the courteous permission of the Editors.
The verses that were published in Ballads and Lyrics, and in Ballades and Verses Vain (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York), are marked in the contents with an asterisk." (Preface).