“HOW DO I LOVE THEE? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS”: LOVELY ILLUSTRATED EDITION OF SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE, BEAUTIFULLY BOUND
BROWNING, Elizabeth Barrett (LEESON, Adelaide Hanscom, illustrator) . Sonnets from the Portuguese. New York: Dodge Publishing Company, (1923). Small quarto, contemporary full olive morocco rebacked with original elaborately gilt-decorated spine neatly laid down, gilt-decorated covers, raised bands, morocco doublures with mounted circular paper illustrations, watered silk endpapers, all edges gilt. $3500.
Lovely illustrated edition of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous love poems, with 18 tipped-in color plates by Adelaide Hanscom Leeson and numerous decorative black-and-white textual illustrations throughout, beautifully bound in full morocco-gilt with mounted color illustrations inside each cover.
Written as a gift for her husband, Sonnets from the Portuguese "describes the growth and development of her love for Robert Browning. The title, chosen to disguise the personal nature of the poems by suggesting that they were a translation, was a secret reference for the Brownings to his nickname for her, 'The Portuguese,' based on her poem 'Catarina to Camoens,' which Browning particularly admired and which portrayed a Portuguese woman's devotion to her poet lover" (Drabble, 920). Text and illustrations interleaved with patterned tissue guards.
Silk endpapers have lifted from their backing. Morocco gently toned, gilt bright. A beautiful volume.