THE GOLDEN ASS BY APULEIUS, BEAUTIFULLY PRINTED BY CHISWICK AND HANDSOMELY BOUND
APULEIUS, Lucius. The Golden Ass. Translated by William Adlington, MDLXVI. London: Printed at the Chiswick Press for George Bell and Sons, 1904. Folio, contemporary three-quarter tan morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, top edge gilt, uncut. $800.
Limited private-press folio edition, number 69 of 220 copies, beautifully printed at the Chiswick Press and handsomely bound by Henry Sotheran.
One of the masterpieces of world literature, the Golden Ass is “a satirical and fantastic moral romance, the adventures of one Lucius, who is transformed into an ass, and under that disguise, has the amplest opportunities of observing, undetected, the preposterous doings of mankind… Of the many episodes interwoven into the story, the most interesting is the beautiful allegorical fairy tale of Cupid and Psyche, so much used by later poets and artists” (Peck, 104). Beautifully printed in red and black at the Chiswick Press, on handmade paper, with rubricated chapter headings, woodcut initial letters, and ornate frontispiece and title page by W.L. Bruckman in the Art Nouveau style. The Chiswick Press led the English revival of the book arts in the mid 19th-century by bringing Caslon types back into use. This fine example of Chiswick’s clean style of printing is of William Adlington’s 1566 translation, the first done into English.
Faint marginal foxing to leaf B1 only, minor waterstaining to bottom rear corner of contemporary morocco. An about-fine copy, handsomely printed and bound.