The Kelmscott Press's The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer
Folio Society Deluxe Edition, 2008
This is a facsimile edition of the Kelmscott Press production of Chaucer's works, held by many to be the most exquisite book of printed English literature. It was originally published in 1896 by William Morris with illustrations by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. It was the final book printed by Kelmscott Press under Morris and remains the only major effort to illustrate all of Chaucer's works. Morris had a clear goal in mind when creating this edition: "A book ornamented with pictures that are suitable for that book, and that book only, may become a work of art second to none, save a fine binding duly ornamented or a fine piece of literature."
Measuring 16.75" x 11.5" and containing 568 pages, the book is bound in embossed buckram covered boards and features gold gilded covers, gold gilting on the top page ends, and a built in satin bookmark. The paper for the book was specially commissioned from James Cropper, a small mill in the Lake District, England. The book is housed in a gold-blocked slipcase that serves to protect and display the volume.
From the publisher: “In this fine edition, Morris’s great work has been re-presented in an exact facsimile on beautiful laid paper with gilded top edges, whilst the sturdy buckram binding is richly blocked with one of Morris’s designs. With an original first edition of The Kelmscott Chaucer selling in New York for $160,000 last year, this Folio Society Fine Edition facsimile represents an opportunity to own this superb facsimile at an astonishing price.”
The condition of the book is FINE. The condition of the slipcase is FINE- with some very minor wear and superficial soiling.
A stock photograph of the book from the prospectus appears in the photo section of the listing.