Sims Reed Rare Books×


Vale Press. Ricketts, Charles. Moore, Thomas Sturge

London. Printed by The Ballantyne Press ... [for] Hacon & Ricketts ... And [for] John Lane. 1903
Laurence Hodson's copy on vellum of 'Danaë', the last book sold by Hacon & Ricketts.

From the edition limited to 240 copies with this one of 10 printed on vellum.

Thomas Sturge Moore (1870 - 1944), he added the 'Sturge' (his middle and his mother's maiden name) to distinguish himself from another poet named Thomas Moore, was an English poet, artist and author. His long poem 'Danaë' was first published (there is a note to this effect in the book) in 'The Dial', also the work of Ricketts, in 1893 before its first separate appearance here. 'Danaë', printed in Ricketts' favoured Kings type, is also notable as the last book published by the Vale Press before the type and matrices were thrown into the Thames; Cobden-Sanderson cast his own Doves type into the Thames on the closure of his own press in 1916 / 1917.

'Ricketts gave Moore 'a laughing commission to lengthen it' as he judges it not long enough to make the book he had in view'. Ricketts asked that the additions be 'all golden syrup' ... In the prefatory summary ... Moore describes the poem as like a dream with 'no fixed order or progress': 'it begins and begins again and is broken off rather than ended'.' (Maureen Watry).

Ricketts' woodcuts are titled in red as follows: 'In polisht walls a sister found is kissed.'; 'She kneels in awe beholding lavish light.'; 'Danaë at her twilit lattice ponders.'.

Hodson's bookplate, with the text 'FROM THE LIBRARY OF / LAURENCE W. HODSON, / COMPTON HALL, NEAR / WOLVERHAMPTON', was one of the very few - for Morris, Burne-Jones, Walker and select patrons - printed at the Kelmscott Press in Golden type on Batchelor paper (see Peterson D10).

[Watry B43].
[41 leaves including blanks and 3 hors-texte plates; pp. xlv, (i)]. 8vo. (237 x 151 mm). Leaf with half-title and publication note verso, leaf with dedication 'Affectionately dedicated to C[harles]. H[azelwood]. S[hannon].' recto, verso and following recto with 'The Story' in red, verso with title and Moore's verse recto and verso with running title, side-notes and pagination in red throughout and illustrated with three full-page hors-texte woodcut plates by Ricketts, final leaf with colophon recto; in the present copy gathering 'b' is discoloured. Original publisher's full vellum pierced for thongs, spine with gilt rules to form six compartments with title gilt at head.

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