Essay Writer

[illus. BLAKE, William] MILTON, John

On The Morning Of Christ's Nativity

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1923

4to, pp. 32. Original decorated three-quarter boards, lettered in gilt to spine and with title label to front panel. Glassine wrapper, with dustwrapper featuring a Blake illustration overlaid. Leading and lower edges uncut. Some light spotting to preliminaries, but a very well preserved copy in the original glassine which has some loss to head of spine, the whole in a defective dustwrapper with some general edgewear, a 350mm chip to centre of rear panel, a closed tear with a little loss to head of (browned) spine, and some scuffing and marking to front panel.

First edition, INSCRIBED BY GEOFFREY KEYNES IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 'Cosmo Gordon from Geoffrey Keynes Dec. 1923'. Keynes provides the note to Blake's illustrations at the rear of the book. A de luxe edition of 150 copies printed on handmade paper was published simultaneously.

Brother of the economist John Maynard Keynes, Geoffrey Keynes F.R.C.S. [1887-1982] was a physician, author and bibliographer, and was a leading authority on the work of William Blake. Keynes inscribed this copy to his lifelong friend, the librarian and bibliophile Cosmo Gordon [1886-1965]. In his autobiography The Gates of Memory [Clarendon Press, 1981], Keynes writes of Gordon: 'Cosmo and I found our tastes and interests were always in harmony and I came to love his particular sense of humour and gentle goodness, as well as to respect his unusual style of scholarship and general culture.'

Keywords: John MILTON William BLAKE Geoffrey KEYNES Cosmo GORDON"


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