"AN EXPRESSION, SATISFYING AND ABIDING, OF THE ZEST OF LIFE": GISSING'S THE PRIVATE PAPERS OF HENRY RYECROFT, FINELY BOUND
GISSING, George. The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft. Portland, Maine: Thomas Bird Mosher, 1921. Small square octavo, later full blue morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $400.
Thomas Bird Mosher edition of George Gissing's "enchanting" final book, one of only 700 printed on Van Gelder paper, handsomely bound in full morocco-gilt by Bayntun-Riviere.
"Gissing's most striking book published before his death was the unclassifiable Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, first serialized in the Fortnightly Review as 'An Author at Grass.' Half-reminiscential, half-speculative, these idiosyncratic essays, lovingly composed in 1900 and 1901, for half a century put all Gissing's non-belletristic titles in the shade… Their valetudinarian tone and refreshing candor on controversial matters of life and death enchanted the Edwardians" (ODNB). Although he often exploited loopholes in copyright laws to avoid paying royalties, Thomas Bird Mosher has been praised as an American Aldus; his books are regarded as "elegant edifices, appropriate to the authors who inhabit them" (William Fredeman). Includes an introductory survey of Gissing's work by Thomas Seccombe. First published in 1903. Bishop 313. Bookplate.
Spine gently sunned; minor discoloration to covers. A handsomely bound copy.