Oxford: Printed at the Shakespeare Head Press…, 1933. Item #05185
The Shakespeare Head Press “Morte D’Arthur”
With Twenty-Two Magnificent Half-Page Woodcuts
Reproduced From Wynkyn de Worde’s Folio Edition of 1498.
[SHAKESPEARE HEAD PRESS]. MALORY, Sir Thomas. The Noble & Joyous Boke Entytled Le Morte Darthur. Notwythstondyng it treateth of the byrth lyf and actes of the sayd Kynge Arthur: of his noble knyghtes of the Rounde Table, theyr merveyllous enquestes & adventures, thachyevynge of the Sanc-Greall & in the ende the dolourous deth: and departynge out of this worlde of them al. Which boke was reduced in to Englysshe by the well dysposyd knyghte Syr Thomas Malory. Oxford: Printed at the Shakespeare Head Press… and Published for the Press by Basil Blackwell, 1933.
One of 370 numbered copies on handmade paper (of which 350 are for sale), out of a total edition of 375 copies, this being copy no. 212.
Two quarto volumes (10 1/8 x 7 inches; 256 x 178 mm). [10, blank], , xxviii, 316, [6, blank]; [10 blank], , 373, , [6, blank] pp. Printed in red and black in Caslon type. With twenty-two magnificent half-page woodcuts reproduced from Wynkyn de Worde’s folio edition of 1498.
Publisher's half brick-red Hermitage calf over cream buckram boards, ruled in blind. Spines lettered in gilt, top edge rough gilt, others uncut, Cockerell marbled endpapers. A fine set.
“The text of the present edition is a careful reprint of Wynkyn de Worde’s folio of 1498, from the unique copy in the John Rylands Library, Manchester. That edition has never been reprinted and will be of interest to students of Malory as bridging the gap between Caxton’s original edition of 1485, which has been accurately reproduced by Sommer, and Wynkyn de Worde’s second edition of 1529, on which most modern editions are based. The book is of particular interest as containing 21 half-page woodcuts, described by Sommer as an example of the first attempt ever made of illustrating a text throughout with engravings. The complete series is reproduced in the present edition for the first time” (Prospectus).
This exceptionally and beautifully produced edition was published in two volumes that were case bound in either full or half red Hermitage calf, the material developed by book binder Douglas Cockerell. Cockerell marbled papers were used for the half-calf bindings.
Ransom, Selective Check Lists, p. 18, no. 77.