London: George Routledge & Sons, Limited, 1907. Item #04468
English Quotations from Geoffrey Chaucer to Matthew Arnold
Specially Bound by Root & Son in 1934
Together with the Original Binders Letter
ROOT & SON, binders. SMITH, Robinson. English Quotations. A Collection of the more memorable passages and poems of English literature, arranged according to authors chronologically. With a full index of words. London: George Routledge & Sons, Limited, .
First edition. Octavo (8 3/16 x 5 1/4 inches; 208 x 134 mm.). [iv, blank], [v-x], 11-312 pp. Two small red oriental stamps and neat ink inscription dated 1934 on front blank.
Specially bound in 1934 by Root & Son (stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in) for Carl E. Melugin. Full dark blue crushed levant morocco, covers with double ruled gilt borders surrounding a geometric gilt design with elaborate gilt floral corner-pieces, front cover lettered in gilt. Spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled in a similar floral design and lettered in gilt in compartments, double gilt ruled board edges, decorative gilt turn-ins, orange silk liners and end-leaves, all edges gilt. A very fine example housed in the original fleece-lined, dark blue cloth slipcase.
Loosely inserted is the original letter from W. Root & Son to Carl E. Melugin, dated Oct. 22, 1934, stating "We have pleasure in informing you that we have at last succeeded in obtaining a fine copy of "English Quotations" by Robinson Smith First Edition (1907). We shall charge you 8/- for the book when we send it out to you. We are now proceeding to Bind it in accordance with instructions in your letter of August 15th. Yours faithfully W.Root & Son"
"This book aims to be 'a composition and pattern of the best and honourablest things' in English literature. It is the result of a special reading of whatever in that literature might be supposed to contribute to this purpose…" (Preface).
The quotations contained are arranged chronologically and cover works from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries including passages from Geoffrey Chaucer, John Heywood, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Milton, Thomas Gray, Oliver Goldsmith, William Blake, Robert Burns, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold and others. There is an 'Author Index' and a 'Word Index' at the end.
The London bindery of W. Root & Son consistently turned-out excellent work, both on fine bindings as here, and on trade bindings and sets. Packer lists the firm in business in Red Lion Square in 1899-1901, and the December 1942 issue of The Rotarian notes with regret that W. Root had been bombed out (uprooted?) of their premises on Paternaster Row during the 1941 Blitz.