First edition of these Irish verses about fairies, with beautiful Art Nouveau designs by Housman carrying distinct notes of Beardsley's style.
Very good plus.
"Housman was guilty of bibliographical passions and was attuned to the ways in which the book might be produced as a total work of art." – Lorraine Janzen Kooistra
Housman scholar Rodney K. Engen calls this Housman's "first important fairy illustration commission" and ranks it "among his best known work" – though such avant-garde fairies came as a bit of a shock to a Victorian audience used to twee Little Folk, with one contemporary review calling Housman's versions "too much like ill-fed human beings" (Saturday Review, 6 April 1895). In addition to Aubrey Beardsley, Housman also drew inspiration from the designs of Charles Ricketts. Like his earlier commissioned work, Christina Rossetti's GOBLIN MARKET, he designed the unusual long and thin size of this volume specifically to accommodate the length of Barlow's verses, a format that would become characteristic among fin-de-siècle book designers.
Read more: Garvey, Smith & Wick, The turn of a century, 1885-1910: Art Nouveau-Jugendstil books, 23; John Taylor, Art Nouveau Book In Britain, 106-7; Engen, Laurence Housman, 65-68; Kooistra, Christina Rossetti and Illustration<br />A Publishing History, 84.
London: Macmillan & Co, 1894. Octavo. 7'' x 4.25''. Original light brown cloth elaborately stamped in gilt with design by Housman. All edges gilt. Illustrated by Housman with pictorial title page, 8 full-page illustrations, and several illustrations in-text. , 77,  pages. Offsetting to endpapers, some cracking to rear hinge but holding firm, interior largely clean. Gilt a little rubbed in top left corner of front board, spine slightly toned.
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