"HEAR THE VOICE OF THE BARD! WHO PRESENT, PAST, & FUTURE, SEES": LOVELY NONESUCH SET OF THE FIRST COMPLETE EDITION OF BLAKE'S WORKS, WITH WILSON'S LIFE OF BLAKE
BLAKE, William. The Writings of William Blake. Edited in Three Volumes by Geoffrey Keynes. WITH: WILSON, Mona. The Life of William Blake. London: Nonesuch Press, 1925-27. Together four volumes. Quarto, original half vellum, marbled boards, uncut and unopened. $1600.
Limited Nonesuch Press edition of Blake's Writings, number 1012 of 1575 copies printed on Vidalon handmade paper, the first complete edition of the poet's writings. Together with Mona Wilson's important Life of William Blake, number 850 of 1480 copies.
This is the first attempted collection of Blake's prose and the first edition to contain all of his poetry and prose. It includes many previously unpublished and important letters and fragments, and draws on the poet's annotations and manuscripts to present corrected texts of numerous poems. Keynes arranges Blake's writings chronologically, so the reader can clearly see how his mythic system evolved. Contains over 80 plates reproducing Blake's paintings and engravings. Wilson's Life, printed in like format, with an additional 24 tipped-in collotypes, is still considered the standard biography. "I have always regarded her book as the most important biographical account of Blake to have appeared since the second edition of Gilchrist's Life in 1880" (Keynes). The Nonesuch Press was founded in 1923 with the intent to make books "for those among collectors who also use books for reading" (Ransom, 169). Bentley 2981. Bookplates.
A very handsome set, unopened, and in fine condition.