Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers
London: Chatto & Windus for the Florence Press, 1910. Norman Wilkinson. Limited Edition. 4to, 10 x 7 1/2 in. (253 x 189 mm);  leaves, including 1 blank + 120 pp +  leaves, including 1 blank. 12 chromolithographed plates by Norman Wilkinson, printed on plate paper and not included in the pagination, legends on tissue guards printed in red. This is COPY no. 4 OF 12 COPIES PRINTED ON VELLUM, as noted on the limitation page, on verso of second leaf: «Of this edition of Virginibus Puerisque / have been printed on Aldwych hand- / made paper 250 copies, of which 235 are / for sale; on vellum 12 copies, of which 10 / are for sale. / Vellum Copy No. 4». Limp vellum binding with four green ties; gilt lettering on spine and upper cover, t.e.g. Very faint spotting to front free endpaper, slight offsetting of ties. Otherwise a pristine copy.
Provenance: William Russell Flint (from the family, by descent).
[Beinecke, Stevenson 79; Ransom 278:6; Tomkinson 85:6; Prideaux 13].
A splendid edition of Stevenson's first collection of essays which promote a spirit of playfulness in defiance of both the hardships of human life and the restrictions imposed by bourgeois callowness. The volume brought together essays that had been previously published in the Cornhill Magazine and Macmillan’s: “Virginibus Puerisque i” (1876); “ ii” (1881); “iii: On Falling in Love” (1877); “iv: The Truth of Intercourse” (1879); “Crabbed Age and Youth” (1878); “An Apology for Idlers” (1877); “Ordered South” (1874); “Aes Triplex” (1878); “El Dorado” (1878); “The English Admirals” (1878); “Some Portraits by Raeburn” (previously unpublished); “Child’s Play” (1878); “Walking Tours” (1876); “Pan’s Pipes” (1878); “A Plea for Gas Lamps” (1878)
The essays inspired Norman WILKINSON (1878 – 1971) to create the 12 striking and lyrical images that accompany the texts. Wilkinson was a British artist, renowned for his poster work and honored by the British Admiralty for coming up with the idea and design for “dazzle camouflage” to protect Royal Navy ships from attacks by German submarines.
Founded in 1908 by the London publishers Chatto & Windus and operated by Philip Lee Warner, THE FLORENCE PRESS had as its mission to produce “beautiful books in the choicest types,” but in somewhat larger and less costly editions than Kelmscott and the other more celebrated English fine presses. Florence books are readily distinguishable by their special type, designed by Herbert P. Horne after 15th century Italian faces that are elegant, simple, and easily readable. [Tomkinson p. 84]
This volume comes from the collection of Sir William Russell Flint (1880 – 1969) a Scottish artist, illustrator and author who was linked to the Pre-Raphaelites and art nouveau designers. He enjoyed much commercial success during his career, was on staff for years at 'The Illustrated London News', was commissioned to illustrate many books and the librettos of several Gilbert and Sullivan librettos. He served as president of both The Royal Society of Painters, Etchers and Engravers and the Royal Watercolour Society, and was knighted in 1946.
Item number: 420