London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1917. Item #04217
First Trade Edition
[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. London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1917.
First trade edition. Octavo (8 1/4 x 6 5/8 inches; 210 x 169 mm.). xxiv, 509, [1, blank] pp. Sixteen color plates with captioned tissue guards, including frontispiece and seven black and white plates. Seventy black and white illustrations.
Publisher's dark blue cloth, front cover and spine pictorially stamped in gilt. Minimal rubbing to extremities, neat ink inscription "Xmas 1917" on front free end-paper, some very minimal foxing mainly on tissue-guards. Neat ink inscription on half-title dated Xmas 1917. Gilt on spine very slightly dull, otherwise a near fine copy.
"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 headings 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.